Unity in our Diversity

Niriti Pahidi, Staff Writer

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The 28th annual Burtonsville Day festival on September 22nd can only be characterized by one word: unity.

The uniform beat of the drums had the power to bring all of the rival high schools together, and to make every single culture feel as if it belonged in the diverse puzzle that makes up our community.

The festival began with a parade that started at Paint Branch High School at 10:30 AM on a gorgeous day under the eye-achingly blue sky. The Paint Branch Marching Band, Poms, and the Cheer Squad were there with their regal gold and maroon uniforms, along with the shimmering blue of the Blake Bengals, and the roaring spirits of the Springbrook Devils. Members of the Masonic Lodge and the Baitur Rahman Mosque were there as well, both marching with the message of community and love.

A member of the Masonic Lodge said, “I am a Christian, and in the bible it says to  ‘love thy neighbor,’ and this is our neighbor. This is my community.”

The parade began with the beat of the Blue Devil’s Marching Band drums, followed by the officers of the  Montgomery Police Department riding their magnificent brown horses. Political figures and their supporters marched as well, inspiring the community as they voiced their opinions of change through stickers and campaign slogans. Kids rode in the political figures’ trucks, encouraging people to vote, while  throwing chocolate and candies at the spectators who had gathered on the sidewalks.

One long time resident of Burtonsville said, “I’ve been at this parade ever since I moved here, and it’s always wonderful to see the community spirit.”

The parade ended at the Marilyn J Praisner Community Recreation Center around 11:30 AM with the blaring trumpets and the crashing cymbals of the Paint Branch Marching Band.

But the fun was far from over.

The Community Center had full on “bazaar” and “carnival” vibes as the stalls were set up left and right, representing multitudes of culture and affiliations, while the music provided by the multiple bands and performers rejuvenated  the spirits of our community. The US Army Field Band was there and they brought a sense of patriotism by performing the national anthem, while another band, Renegade Thunder, coursed through the winds with their high energy dance country vibes.

The festivities of the fair seemed to be affecting everyone: spirits were high, there were people laughing, dancing, singing, and everyone seemed to be proud to call this diverse melting pot their home.

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Unity in our Diversity