Helena Diversity and Inclusion Board hosts Helena United Festival

By MACKENZEE SIMMS | Staff Writer

HELENA – With music swirling through the air and cultural demonstrations, the Helena Diversity and Inclusion Board held its annual Helena United Festival on Saturday, April 27 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Helena Amphitheater.

Hosted by the Helena Diversity and Inclusion Board, the Helena United Festival is an annual event designed to showcase the diversity of the Helena community. According to a Diversity and Inclusion Board member, Rachel Han, the Helena United Festival is a natural continuation of the board’s mission.

“The goal of our Diversity and Inclusion Board is to get people more aware of their diverse surroundings,” Han said. “There is a wide range of people that live in Helena. We want to make people more aware that there are different cultures, different people and different beliefs.”

Throughout the entire event, guests could wander past local vendor booths and food trucks. Parents could enjoy their purchases while dipping their toes in Buck Creek while their children played on inflatable bounce houses.

At staggered times during the festival, attendees halted their shopping and gathered around the stage for various showcases. At noon, Ballet Folklorico St. Thomas spun and twirled in traditional Latin American clothing during their dance performance.

Later in the afternoon, the Demo Team from Battleground Martial Arts demonstrated several skills taught at their dojo. The presentation featured a martial arts routine, wooden board breaking and a special guest—a delightful German Shepard who showed off their skills.

In addition to the demonstration, Battleground Martial Arts also hosted a raffle for free classes. For $2 a ticket, attendees could enter for the chance to win up to one month of free classes and a free uniform.

According to one of the event organizers, Gracious Washington, the performances may have stolen the show, but the best part of the event was witnessing the community of Helena gathered to celebrate.

“It’s been great just to see everyone come out and have fun,” Washington said.

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