Reston Multicultural Festival hopes for normalcy but plans for possible distancing

September seems like a lifetime away now, but the Reston Community Center has its fingers crossed that the world will be in the mood for a celebration.

RCC announced last week that it is now accepting applications for performing arts groups interested in participating in the 21st annual Reston Multicultural Festival, which is being planned for Sept. 25 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Reston’s Lake Anne Plaza.

“Multicultural Festival applications are being accepted with the sincere hope that we will be able to return to normal operations and come together as a community on September 25 to celebrate the diverse cultures found in and around Reston,” RCC said in a press release.

RCC Community Events Director Kevin Danaher says organizers are taking a “two prong approach” to this year’s festival, essentially planning for two scenarios: one where the event can be held as usual and one where masks, social distancing, and other public health guidelines are still required.

Last year’s festival was canceled due to concerns about the health and safety of vendors, performers, staff, volunteers, and the community in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Reston Multicultural Festival may be socially distanced this year,” Danaher said. “It will depend on the status of Virginia’s mandates.”

Free and open to all ages, the Reston Multicultural Festival features music, dress, food, and entertainment from different cultures.

Performers can be groups or individuals of all ages and cultures. Performance styles have a religious orientation but “should not be used to proselytize or overtly promote any faith or religion,” RCC says.

Interested individuals and groups can apply through RCC’s website. All applications should include recent video or audio examples of the group’s work.

The festival’s entertainment committee will evaluate the submissions based on artistic merit, production values, evidence of authentic traditions and forms of specific cultures, and general merit, according to the RCC press release.

RCC is also accepting applications for arts and crafts vendors, community organizations and food vendors.

The deadline for all applications is June 18, and selected applicants will be notified by July 16.

Photo courtesy Reston Community Center

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