Former mayoral candidate helps create Providence’s first annual ‘Culture Festival’

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Former Providence mayoral candidate and community activist Kobi Dennis worked with members of the community to create the city’s first annual Culture Festival.

Dennis, who also created Midnight Basketball, said the event will take place at the Southside Cultural Center on Broad Street between noon and 5 p.m. on Saturday.

The purpose of the event is to celebrate the many cultures that make Rhode Island unique and to bring people from different backgrounds together for a day full of fun and family-friendly activities, according to Dennis.

“We’re looking to celebrate culture in our community and made sure we could make it inclusive for everyone,” Dennis said.

Dennis, along with his friends and family, came up with the idea of giving back and kicking off the summer festival season a few weeks early.

“Our job as community leaders is to build. A lot of community members and I came together and said, ‘Let’s start giving back to our community’ and came up with the idea of a Culture Festival,” Dennis said.

Everyone who attends will receive one free raffle ticket upon admission and have the chance to win exciting prizes, including footballs autographed by New England Patriots fullback James Develin, gift certificates, gift baskets, swag bags, a mountain bike and more.

Dennis said the event will also feature performances by the national Latino sensation CANAMUSIC and the Project 401 dance crew.

There will also be more than 50 vendors with booths set up featuring food, beverages, crafts, merchandise and community/health information. Dennis said the Big Brothers and Big Sisters of RI, YMCA of Greater Providence, Providence Children’s Museum, RI Veterans Affairs Office will also attend the festival.

Jaala Smith, an 11-year old Pawtucket native who was featured on Fox’s MasterChef Junior, will also be making a special appearance, Dennis said.

Dennis expects the community to come out in full force since the Southside Cultural Center can hold up to 300 people.

“It’s just a bunch of people coming out for one common goal and that’s having a good time,” Dennis said.

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