The 15th annual World Beat Festival and corresponding 8th annual Dragon Boat Races return to Downtown Salem’s Riverfont Park Saturday, June 30 and Sunday, July 1, and the nonprofit behind the festival, the Salem Multicultural Institute, has put together a list of stellar entertainers and activities for the occasion.
The event runs from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. The Dragon Boat Races are scheduled for 9 a.m. Sunday.
This year’s performance headliners each bring a distinctive Brazilian flair. Santa Cruz samba-funk combo SambaDa and Salt Lake City-based performance and music company Samba Fogo will perform Saturday evening. SambaDa kicks off the night at 7:30 p.m.
Sambo Fogo fuses fire dancing, martial arts, and traditional and contemporary dance styles with rhythmic-heavy Afro-Brazilian compositions for a cohesive and choreographed performance, and is expected to take the stage around 10 p.m.
The Salem Multicultural Institute stated in their press release that “the two groups will give the evening a carnival feel, and their high-energy performances will showcase the deep-rooted culture and celebratory spirit of Brazil.”
But the nonprofit behind the event stresses the festival isn’t all Afro-Brazilian music and dance: there are “125 cultural performances, demonstrations and workshops taking place throughout the weekend” representing “more than 50 countries.”
The festival is broken up into five “villages” – Eastern and Western Pacific cultures, Europe, Africa and the Americas — and the performers range from youth to experienced professionals, giving many area residents a chance to engage in new cultural experiences and some an opportunity to reconnect with their heritage.
For more information and a full schedule of events and activities visit WorldBeatFestival.org. For more information about the headlining performers, visit SambaDa.com and SambaFogo.com.