Maor Noble reads the proclamation
Kingston – Usually parades in Kingston coincide with a major holiday – St. Patrick’s Day; Memorial Day; Sinterklaas. The one that took place Wednesday along lower Broadway left some people scratching their heads, wondering aloud, about which occasion all the drums, banners and dancers were celebrating.
As hundreds happily marched into Gallo Park beside the waterfront marina, Kingston Mayor Steven Noble read the official proclamation that June 21, 2017 was Diversity Day. The double-billed event marked the third annual Diversity Parade, and the seventh annual Let’s Move Ulster County, both coordinated by the Center for Creative Education (CCE), a Midtown non-profit wellness organization, headed by Bryant Drew Andrews.
“The Diversity Parade is celebrated to bring community together,” Andrews said. “So many things in our world are tearing things apart, this brings all people of all ages, sexual orientation, it doesn’t matter, we bring them together here in Kingston, it’s about inclusivity.”
Andrews is often seen around town, choreographing public performances of CCE dance programs, known for their dizzying display of youthful exuberance and energy. The multicultural styles include international styles, such as hula, salsa, Dance Xcross Fitness (DXF), and percussion.
The dance party which followed the parade is an annual fitness and nutrition lifestyle event coordinated with Ulster County. “Let’s Move helps fight obesity, promotes wellness, community, healthy eating, and fun,” Andrews said.
Mayor Noble pointed to Kingston’s national recognition for the program.
“Michelle Obama named us a Let’s Move City because of our amazing efforts,” Noble said.
The Center has existed in Kingston for 27 years, finally out-growing their space on Railroad Avenue, hoping to expand into a new RUPCO project slated for Cedar Street at the site of the old Midtown bowling alley.
“Our classes are getting to a point where we need to have a waiting list to get into them,” noted Administrative Director Meredith Roth. “We want to stay in Midtown Kingston, so when they came to us with that idea for that building, it came at the right time.”
Three years ago, CCE opened a second location in the City of Beacon, and may also launch a third studio in Poughkeepsie, plus possibly collaborate with like-minded groups in Newburgh.