West indian culture

PHOTOS: New England BIPOC Fest celebrates arts, culture and diversity in Portsmouth


Large crowds descended on Portsmouth on Sunday for the New England BIPOC Fest. The event was created to celebrate food, art and culture – and community members from non-profit groups and small businesses.

“It really shows all of New England that the communities here are strong and it’s a safe place for everyone to come and really show the exhibit behind what New England beats at.” said David Vargas, event manager. -chair, who is chef and owner of Vida Cantina, where the festival took place.

“It’s these different indigenous and African American communities that make up New England and you can come here and you can experience that and all be together in this blissful environment,” Vargas said.

The festival showcased a wide range of arts and crafts, as well as restaurant dishes, including Middle Eastern, Indian, Himalayan, Mexican and Vietnamese cuisine.

Musical performances included a Boston Mariachi band; West African drum music; reggae and hip-hop numbers; Indonesian dance; and a poetry reading by Diannely Antigua, Portsmouth’s Poet Laureate and the city’s first Honored Poet to be a person of colour.

Vargas says the festival has outgrown its location. He estimated an attendance of 1,500 people on Sunday.

Next year they plan to host the BIPOC Fest to be held in Portsmouth town centre.

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