by John Stapleton, Contributing Editor
International food trucks, 80 different vendors and exhibit booths, and a variety of performances celebrating cultures from around the world entertained the crowd during the first-ever Copa Cultural Night Market March 25 at Copper Sky Recreation Complex in Maricopa.
(Maricopa Chamber of Commerce)
“I was so happy and proud to be living in this amazing community that took time to plan and celebrate different cultures with a fabulous Cultural Marketplace Event! To our amazing members for participating as dancers, vendors and supporters of this great event!
“We had fantastic cultural representation from all over the world; we had the dragon dancers from China; samba from Brazil; salsa from Latin America and kizomba and funana from the Cape Verde Islands in Africa. The United States was represented by all her beautiful diversity and cultures such as Guatemalan, Italian, Portuguese, Native American, Irish, Cape Verdean, French, Mexican, Spaniard, English, Thai and lots more!”
Nicole Perkins (resident)
“What a fantastic night it was for the LGBTQ+ Family Maricopa-AZ at the Copa Cultural Night Market! So grateful that the city reached out and invited us to have a booth. To my surprise, we had a constant stream of people stopping by the entire night and incredibly positive reactions.
“It was so awesome to have tables full of our local youth, coloring, making bracelets, connecting, and creating friendships. Having parents come by who didn’t completely understand everything, but wanted to learn to better support their kids. Older people in the community are happy to finally see themselves in our booth.
“Representation matters. I’m really glad we had the opportunity to provide that to our community for a night. Thank you to all the amazing people who helped pull this off by offering their time, resources, supplies, etc. Lots of brainstorming was had, so I’m excited for what the future holds for our community!”
Mandi Lopez (performer, Indigo Ballroom)
“Copa Cultural Night had an impressively diverse lineup with performances from Chinese lion dance and traditional Thai dance, to Brazilian Samba and Latin dance. The audience was great. Very supportive and they participated happily in our mini-lessons.
“The sense of community was strong and it seemed like everybody was having a good time! The food trucks were varied, it was a success! Thanks for having The Indigo Ballroom Ladies Latin Dance Team out to perform!”
Photos by Von Freeze