First BIPOC Fest offers diverse food and music in Portsmouth NH


PORTSMOUTH – The first BIPOC Fest was a success, and organizers say they want to see it become an annual event.

“It’s going well,” said Clifton West Jr., founder of Black Lives Matter Seacoast. “I can’t believe there are already so many people here. The weather is wonderful. We are giving out free activity books to the children. Everyone seems happy and excited about the idea of ​​this festival. “

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The BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) festival brought together a diverse group of people to an event in the parking lot of the Vida Cantina restaurant with various food and music.

“The event was the child of my love, Evan Mallett (Black Trumpet), Joanna Kelley (Cup of Joe) and Kathy Cavallaro (local businessman),” said Chef David Vargas, owner of Vida Cantina. “We have nine restaurants here, six organizations and a whole lot of entertainment. Not bad for our first try.”

Kathy Cavallaro and David Vargas, two of the organizers of BIPOC

Previous story:BIPOC Fest to showcase the diversity of the coast with food and music

Varied food and music

The restaurant’s kiosks offered an array of Mexican, Indonesian, Vietnamese and Indian dishes, to name a few.

Paul and Denise Pouliot, representing the Cowasuck Band of the Pennacook – the Abenaki people talked about food as a way to bring people together.

Betsy Townsend and Quinlan Payne from Vida Cantina served Ethiopian tacos.

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“We are in the Piscataqua area, now known as Portsmouth,” said Denise Pouliot. “We had a common language when the settlers arrived: food. We have shared our resources and a rich history. Now, BIPOC brings this shared culture here today. This is how it should be. We were never meant to fight against each other. “

Paul and Denise Pouliot of the Cowasuck Band of the Pennacook - Abénakis

“We raised $ 15,000 to do it in less than a month,” Kelley said. “We have done well this year, and I hope we will double the event next year. This event aims to give people a space to come and experience different cultures.”

Mariachi Boston performed at BIPOC Fest on Sunday.

“I think she’s happy to be outside,” said Kittery resident Phil Kliger, watching his daughter Marilyn dance happily to the sound of a group of mariachis. “I think we all are. It’s great.”

11-year-old Marilyn Kliger from Kittery discovered joy in a Mariachi band.

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