Montrose to celebrate ethnic roots

Photo by William Woody—Dancers demonstrate traditional Mexican dance during the Monte De Rosas festival at La Raza Park in Montrose in 2008. The dancers are expected to perform at the first ever International Music and Food Festival in downtown Montrose July 2.

MONTROSE — The inaugural International Music and Food Festival, to be held in downtown Montrose next month, was hatched from an idea to spotlight local cultural diversity within the Uncompahgre Valley.

The event, slated for July 2 at Centennial Plaza, will feature food, live music and dance representing German, Scottish, Latin American and Philippine cultures.

The annual Monte de Rosas Fiesta was canceled in 2011 after a 10-year run. As a result, the city had no cultural events on its calendar, according to International Music and Food Festival organizer Yvonne Meek.

“There was an undercurrent of people concerned that there wasn’t a fiesta. This is a way to continue to celebrate our citizenship for all of us who were born here,” Meek said.

According to Meek, the new festival has received strong community support, including thousands of dollars in donations from the Montrose Community Foundation, the Downtown Development Authority, the Rotary Club, the Montrose Arts Council and the Montrose Association of Commerce and Tourism.

The festival will feature some of the same events that were part of the Monte de Rosas fiesta, including traditional dancing, cooking and games.

Meek said festival organizers and community planners have tried to make the July 2 festival an attractive event for people to stay in town through the July 4 holiday.


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