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White Plains Residents Celebrate African-American Culture

VALHALLA, N.Y. – Westchester County Deputy Executive Kevin Plunkett couldn't help but notice the fine weather when presenting a proclamation declaring June 24 as “African-American Heritage Day” in the county.

“It's the perfect day to celebrate the cultural diversity and heritage of Westchester County,” he said.

Sunday's sunny skies and warm temperatures brought out Plunkett and several thousand people to the Kensico Dam Plaza for the annual African-American Heritage Festival.

Westchester County residents packed into the plaza for food, shopping and music from noon to 7 p.m. Local organizations including the New York State Police, the Theodore D. Young Community Center and local chapters of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity set up booths for visitors.

The Jerome "Bump" Robinson Drum Corps performed outside a crowded tent, where festival goers set up their lawn chairs and blankets to escape the sun.

Sunday's festival was one of several cultural events sponsored by Westchester County Parks. The county series hopes to showcase a variety of cultures and countries in its annual series, which kicked off May 19.

The following culture festivals are scheduled for this summer:

-July 8 - Italian Heritage Festival, noon to 7 p.m., Kensico Dam Plaza, Valhalla.

-July 15 - Irish Heritage Festival, noon to 7 p.m., Ridge Road Park, Hartsdale.

-July 15 - Polish Heritage Festival, noon to 6 p.m., Kensico Dam Plaza, Valhalla.

-July 22 - Hispanic Heritage Festival, noon to 7 p.m., Kensico Dam Plaza, Valhalla.

-Aug. 5 - Indian Heritage Festival, 12:30 to 6:30 p.m., Kensico Dam Plaza, Valhalla.

-Aug. 19 - Jewish Music Festival, 5 to 8 p.m., Kensico Dam Plaza, Valhalla.

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