Flags and food of many nations blended for a global flavor of fun at the seventh annual Unity Fest International, a multicultural celebration, Sunday afternoon at the Putnam Museum, Davenport.
Q-C United, which was created by community members and educators to benefit the entire Quad-City area through fun, educational events, is now in its seventh year, said Ruben Moore, of Davenport, president and founder of Q-C United.
“Last year we had a little over 2,000 people,” said Moore, who expected this year’s event to at least match last year’s steady stream of visitors.
“The Quad-Cities is a big melting pot,” Moore said. “You get more and more comfortable with people the more you get to know them.”
A new feature this year was the world food court on the second floor of the museum, he said. Also, the event served as a kickoff to a year-round anti-bullying program throughout the Quad-Cities.
Glorie Iaccarino, of East Moline, founder of the Eco Arts Council Quad-Cities, worked with children who created art works in conjunction with the Unity Year-Round campaign. They received “peace ports” and created self portraits with the “peace program,” which is not officially referred to as an “anti-bullying” effort.
“We didn’t want to give power to the bully,” Iaccarino said. So, the program and activities focused on how people can become peace-makers and what a happy face shows.
Kim Riley-Quinn, of Q-C United, said this is the third year the event has been held at the Putnam. Q-C United and the Putnam “share that desire to appreciate and to teach about different cultures. We just wanted to bring to light the positive things that kids do. It has grown to be a celebration that brings the Quad-Cities together.
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“It’s an awesome feeling to look out at all the tables and see many cultures sitting together, clapping and sharing the day together,” she said.
One of the sponsors was the Davenport Jaycees. The group’s president, Alana Carroll, of Davenport, said part of the organization’s purpose is making a positive impact on children. “We felt that this event and our mission match,” she said.
Among dozens of children who enjoyed the day were Leslie Bluhm, 7, and Richard McBride, 4, of Davenport, who accompanied their grandmother, Connie Moreno, of Davenport.
Leslie said she enjoyed eating chicken as one of the international taste treats and was proud of the art she had created as well as a flower she made and wore on her wrist.
The most fun part of the day? “The whole museum!” she said.