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July 21, 2002
Pompano Beach + As a father of four, ages 5 to 11, Marlon McCay of Pompano Beach embraces the Rainbow Festival's family-oriented theme and its message of celebrating diversity.
"There's a lot of good stuff here for the kids and as long as they are happy, I am happy," said McCay, 34, during Saturday's free event in Pompano Beach. "I like the idea of bringing people together, and for a long time it hasn't been done. It's interesting to learn more about cultures, and it teaches the kids a lot."
The eighth annual Rainbow Festival took place on Martin Luther King Boulevard, between Dixie Highway and Northwest Sixth Avenue. It's the second year the event, sponsored by the Pompano Beach Parks and Recreation Department, was held in a bigger venue to allow for a larger crowd.
"We want people to come into this community and Pompano Beach, as we are a diverse community," said Joyce Jackson, recreation supervisor of the city's department. "We have gospel, rap, rhythm and blues and Latin jazz. We want people to enjoy themselves and maybe run into people they haven't seen in a while."
The event featured music, including the Benny Latimore Band, The Woods, Oriente, Speaking Hands, Ms. Monique & Her Band, Terrion Nelson, Derrick Dixon and Bahama Junkanoos.
Pompano Beach friends Keyandra Blue, 14, and Mokieta Henley, 16, moved to the beat of Speaking Hands, a group of young people that interpret gospel through sign language.
"I enjoyed listening to them," said Blue, who has been to the festival before. "We wanted to come to walk around and eat."
Vendors offered jewelry, clothes, wooden staffs and many African-American inspired arts and crafts pieces as well as foods like barbecue ribs, turkey legs, wings, chicken kabobs and kettle corn.
Many parents were fond of the free children's activities of rides, spin art and a fire safety house.
Gayle Miller of Davie wanted to bring her 3-year-old twin daughters, Alanna and Elizabeth, to the event to take advantage of the free rides.
"I thought it would be something fun to do and bring the girls for the free rides. It's been great," said Miller, a former Pompano Beach resident.
Nicole T. Lesson can be reached at email@example.com or 954-385-7920.
Copyright © 2002, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Copyright © 2001, South Florida Sun-Sentinel