Leo Pascel performs an ethno cultural dance during the annual Unity/Multicultural Day celebration at
Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany on Thursday. The event is meant to not only bring unity to those on the base, but to also raise awareness about other cultures, coordinators say.
MCLB-ALBANY -- On Thursday at Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany, there were dozens of people taking advantage of free food and entertainment as part of an event officials say promotes unity aboard the installation.
Marines, civilian-Marines, contractors and others gathered to celebrate Unity/Multicultural Day at Boyett Park on MCLB-Albany.
Themed "Diversity...Unity...Discover it," the event is held annually to recognize the contributions of different cultures.
Boyett Park was filled with sizzling aromas, performances and presentations by various individuals and groups. The celebration included pre-ceremonial music, ethno cultural performances, ethnic food samplings, diversity displays and a Child Development Center parade.
The event kicked off at 11 a.m., and concluded with the parade and closing remarks at 1:30 p.m.
The annual festival, now in its eighth year, focuses on six federal special emphasis programs -- black employment, women, Latino, disability awareness, Asian/Pacific Islander and Native American.
There are other cultural events on the base throughout the year, but the annual festival serves as the "grand event" in which everything is brought together, officials say.
"The Department of Defense mandates cultural observations," said Gunnery Sgt. Terrell Rountree, the equal opportunity advisor for Marine Corps Logistics Command. "Once a year, we bring all the cultures together and bring people out of offices.
"It's an educational experience for employees."
In the course of conducting the event, which seems to grow every year, coordinators of the function said they feel it's successful in bringing unity aboard MCLB-Albany -- and it provides for greater understanding and awareness.
"We recognize all cultures," said Angelo Knox, equal employment opportunity specialist for the installation. "When you feel recognized, you feel included -- and it makes (the environment) more cohesive."
There are roughly 800-1,100 people that attend on a yearly basis, Knox said.