The 16th annual Multicultural Music Festival attracted hundreds of people over the weekend to Gateway Park in El Mirage.

In the past, the event has been in the amphitheater at City Hall in Peoria, but due to construction it had to find a new location, and El Mirage’s newest park was selected.

More than 20 vendors were on hand and several national and local entertainers performed.

Ervin Cutwright, organizer of the festival and president of the Northwest Black History Committee, said he was pleased with the new venue.

“We’re truly grateful that the city of El Mirage has embraced the whole idea,” said Cutwright. “For a while, we looked for a place that would accommodate us, and this is perfect.”

Festivities started at 11 a.m. Saturday and included a car and motorcycle show, along with education and health awareness tables.

Performances featured Fel Davis of Public Announcement, blues legend Bobby Rush and Elaine Septor, lead singer for the 1970s group Rolls Royce.

R&B soul artist Willie Clayton also performed.

Clayton said he was excited to participate in the event and plans to return next year. The singer had Billboard chart success with the songs “Boom Boom Boom” and “A Woman Knows.”

“This is the perfect event for black history month, but at the same time people really should celebrate black history every day of the year,” Clayton said.

El Mirage Mayor Lana Mook, who attended the event, said she was impressed with the festival.

Mook said it’s the first time that a major event has been in the park, but it won’t be the last.

“We really want to promote our beautiful park, and what better way to do that than by having this event here,” she said. “This gives an opportunity to show our park and what it has to offer to the people and residents in our community.”

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