Event turns site of conflict into all-inclusive festival

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first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBasketball roundup: Sierra Canyon, Birmingham set to face off in tournament quarterfinals“This is really neat,” she said as she left the booth staffed by members of the Boys and Girls Club with information about summer camps and activities. “I didn’t know they were in Canyon Country. I had hoped there would be more people, but I understand this is only the second year. I’d definitely recommend this to my friends.” Students handed out paper plates with dabs of paint on them for those who wanted to create a scene on a cloth Unity Banner that will travel to high school campuses. Youngsters braved the hot pavement to add their colorful messages to the chalk art “studio” at the far end of the basketball courts. “Take the word unity and you know why we’re here,” said Jim Ventress, who runs the Santa Clarita Valley Boys and Girls Club. “We’re here to celebrate the diversity of our community and celebrate the unity we do have in contrast to some of the negative things we’ve heard. We’re here to celebrate the positive.” A school gymnasium was filled with unity-themed art in various mediums, from three-dimensional sculptures to pen-and-ink drawings to acrylic portraits. Subjects ranged from the serious – a pair of folded hands morphing into a dove – to the wry: primitive sketches of fast food establishments Panda Express and Taco Bell bound together by ribbons as “unity.” CANYON COUNTRY – On a campus devoid of the conflict that brought it so much attention in February, the sound of drumbeats wafted across the basketball courts where players jostled into position. The second annual Unity Day festival at Golden Valley High School – where seven students were arrested Feb. 24 for a lunchtime brawl fought along racial lines – attracted a multigenerational crowd that enjoyed fashion shows, music, art and a variety of vendors selling everything from jewelry to ethnic clothing and home decor. “It sounded like something interesting to do,” said 11-year-old Kathryn Cambra as she slurped on an orange snowcone. “I watched the fashion show, but it was more for little kids.” Some of the fashions modeled by girls recruited from area elementary schools were made by Victoria Law, who toured the campus with her husband and daughter Marjorie, who modeled some of the fashions. Several girls, members of the Healthy Kids Club sponsored by Zonta of Santa Clarita, chatted at a picnic table about a unifying topic: shopping. “The booths had neat stuff, but we didn’t have any money,” said Juleah Pascual, 13. “The performances and the fashion show were really great,” added her friend, Dulce Cruz, 13. Natalie Rios, 13, was excited about the cultural exchanges that were going on. “Unity means all different races uniting together and showing things from their different heritages,” she said. Asked if there had ever been an event like Unity Day at Castaic Middle School, where the girls are students, Rios shook her head and laughed. “No, they had something called Mexican Day where we had contests to see who could eat beans and salsa the fastest,” she said. “That was funny.” carol.rock@dailynews.com (661) 257-5252160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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