The 2023 Faces of Siouxland Multicultural Fair may be marching to a reggae beat when its come to the Sioux City Convention Center, 801 Fourth St., from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday.
Comprised of students from Central College, in Pella, Iowa, the Flying Pan Steel Band will make its Multicultural Fair debut with authentic sounds from Trinidad and Tobago as well as few musical ringers.
The band is known to throw in a few random Led Zeppelin and Doobie Brothers tunes while they pound away on industrial-sized drums called steelpans.
The inclusion of the Flying Pan Steel Band came about through a case of circumstantial scheduling, according to Sioux City Human Rights Commission executive director Karen Mackey.
"Someone at the Sioux City Art Center found out that the Central College students were on a tour and passing through town when our multicultural fair was going on," she explained. "As soon as we found that out, we booked them."
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So, the Flying Pan Steel Band will join Ballet Folklorico Estrella de Jalisco and the Somali Dance Group in providing entertainment for the multicultural fair that the Human Rights Commission has sponsored for more than 30 years.
"Siouxland is much more diverse than people think," Mackey said. "Our fair celebrates the diversity of our community, through music, the arts and food."
Which is an important way to showcase all of the many faces that make up a community.
Numerous local organizations, agencies and businesses will have informational booths and giveaways for this free event that regularly attracts thousands of people.
There will also be a supervised "Kids Space," for arts, crafts and face-painting.
But Mackey always looks forward to the numerous food stands.
"You can really step outside of your comfort zone by trying food from another culture," she said.
This is the big takeaway for the Multicultural Fair.
"The best way to learn about a nationality is through their culture and how they live their live," Mackey said.
Who knows? You might develop an appreciation for music performed on big steelpan drums.