Montrose festival brings cultures together

Jenna Martinez sings Saturday during the International Food and Music Festival in downtown Montrose. The singer from New Mexico performed some of the tracks on her new CD.

MONTROSE —  Organizers of the inaugural International Music and Food Festival, hosted Saturday in Montrose, say they want to make the event an annual fixture on the city’s calendar.

Hundreds of people crisscrossed the festival, which took place in Centennial Plaza and a closed block of Uncompahgre Avenue.

Flags representing dozens of countries waved in the breeze under sunny skies as Spanish music was presented alongside Scottish bagpipers, jazz and traditional German songs.

Food vendors, activities tents and dancing demonstrations kept patrons busy as they scrambled to find shade from the midday sun.

“The Fourth of July weekend is a good weekend for us who are American citizens to celebrate our freedom,” festival organizer Yvonne Meek said.

Meek said 20 percent of the Montrose community is Hispanic and 5 percent is other cultures.

“We wanted to create more unity in the community and not have small groups separate off. This is something we can grow on,” Meek said.

Saturday’s festival received strong community support, including thousands of dollars in donations from the Montrose Community Foundation, the Downtown Development Authority, Rotary Club, the Montrose Arts Council and the Montrose Association of Commerce and Tourism.

The event replaced the Monte de Rosas festival, which ended after 10 years and was the city’s only cultural celebration.

New Mexico singer Jenna Martinez highlighted Saturday’s entertainment, singing a variety of songs, including tracks from her new CD.


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