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Multicultural Festival Returns

Nearly 5,000 people are expected to descend upon Lake Anne Plaza this coming Saturday, Sept. 21, for the third annual Reston Multicultural Festival. With everything from musical performances to fine arts to international cuisine, planners for this year's event, are promising to have something new for everyone from "a variety of our international neighbors."

Mel Blowe, the festival's planning committee chair, has said he wants this year's event to "salute our diversity and celebrate our unity."

The festival on Saturday will kickoff at 10 a.m. and run until 6 p.m. at the historic plaza on Reston's Lake Anne.

From the traditional Australian aboriginal didgeridoo music of performer Ian Hesford to the high-energy offerings from Jewish music group, Lox & Vodka Duo, to the contemporary Japanese koto sounds of The Azuma Kota Ensemble, the 2002 Multicultural Festival will have a full complement of musical favorites from around the world.

The West African dance and drum group, the Gye Nyame African Cultural Dance Troupe, the Riverdance-like students from the Laureen O'Neill-James School of Irish Dancing and the Appalachian cloggers, The Patchwork Dancers, are just three of the global dancing teams ready to strut their stuff on the Lake Anne Plaza stage.

Chinese silk paintings, Ecuadorian tapestries, Vietnamese hand-painted scarves and American Indian hand-made jewelry are a few of the items on sale at the festival this year. Crafters, both traditional and contemporary, from around the world were invited to Reston to sell their wares along the foodway on Saturday.

The festival celebrates the diverse ethnic traditions that make up Reston and "provides an overview of the colorful, ever-changing cultural patchwork that is Reston," said a spokesman for the Reston Community Center, which is one of the event's chief sponsors.