‘Welcoming Week’ festivities kick off Friday in Roanoke, Blacksburg

Local News

(Photo: Courtesy City of Roanoke Facebook page)

(WFXR) — For the next nine days, communities around the country — and around the Commonwealth — are throwing celebrations to brings together immigrants and Americans at local events promoting cross-cultural understanding and raising awareness about the positive impact of welcoming everyone.

The City of Roanoke — along with many local partners — will honor its fourth annual Welcoming Week from Friday, Sept. 10 through Sunday, Sept. 19.

Under the theme “Belonging Begins With US,” city officials say the following events will be held throughout Roanoke over the next two weeks:

  • Kick-off event in the Municipal Building at 11:30 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 10
  • Roanoke Runs for Refugees 1K Kids Fun Run and 5K Walk/Run, starting at Wasena Park at 6:15 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 10
  • Scavenger Hunt and vendor fair in downtown Roanoke and the Main Library from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 11
  • International Soccer Cup at Rivers Edge North from 3 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 12
  • Live online cooking demo at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 14
  • Bilingual Story Time both in-person at the Main Library downtown and on Facebook at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 15
  • Live online cooking demo as part of a special celebration for Mexican Independence Day at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 16
  • Maury Strauss Distinguished Public Lecture: Social Inequities in Health: What Each One of Us Can Do, with Dr. David R. Williams, presented by Fralin Biomedical Research Institute, via Zoom at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 16
  • Salsa lessons with Salsa Noke at Century Plaza at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 17
  • International Taste of Roanoke food tour all over the city (but pick up your passports at any Roanoke City Library) from 1 to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 18.
  • Adult multilingual spelling bee at the Williamson Road Branch Library at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 22.

For more information about the Welcoming Week celebrations taking place in Roanoke this year, follow this link.

Meanwhile, the YMCA at Virginia Tech — in partnership with the Town of Blacksburg, Blacksburg Library, Blacksburg Museum & Cultural Foundation, Blacksburg Newcomers Club, and Literacy Volunteers of the NRV — are hosting a week of activities for “Y @ VT Welcoming Week.”

Y-USA has adopted the benefit-driven headline, Belonging Begins with Us, as the theme for 2021 Welcoming Week. The theme aligns with the national Belonging Begins With Us campaign, which is supported by a broad coalition of public and private partners working to help create a more welcoming nation where everyone can feel like they belong. As we emerge from a tumultuous time in our nation’s history, the theme reminds us that more unites us than divides us, and that we can all play a role in making sure everyone feels welcome.

Town of Blacksburg statement about Welcoming Week

Blacksburg town officials say that a team has been working on a wide variety of activities to last from Friday, Sept. 10 through Sunday, Sept. 19, including Welcoming Hour, resources, story time, gallery exhibits, local history tours, art shows, and a Welcoming Week Festival.

For a full list of the many free, outdoor, community-based activities going on in Blacksburg for Welcoming Week, click here.

According to organizers, all activities will offer multi lingual interpreters when possible and translated written materials.

“Welcoming Week is an invitation to join in the everyday work of building welcoming places for all,” said Rachel Peric, Executive Director of Welcoming America. “Together with their neighbors, people of all backgrounds will come together through events in places large and small, rural and urban, reminding us of how our communities work best when every member belongs.”

Due to the pandemic, many communities across the country will be hosting virtual events or limited in-person events for Welcoming Week. However, nonprofits, local governments, and community members are still encouraged to participate however they can.

To see a full list of Welcoming America events, follow this link

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