Since the freedom-fighting days of city founder Roger Williams, Providence has been a city of refuge for new ideas, people and cultures. More than 25 percent of the city's population is born outside of the country and areas such as Federal Hill, Fox Point, the West End and Smith Hill reflect enormous Italian, Portuguese, Asian and Irish influences. Visitors from throughout the country can celebrate the city's rich diversity and participate with Providence's personable population during some of the following ethnic festivals:
Colombian Day Festival, July 24, 2011
Culminating an entire week worth of celebrations, the Colombian parade begins at 10 a.m. in the parking lot of Dexter Credit Union of Central Falls and finishes with a full-blown festival at the Slater Mill in downtown Pawtucket. Decorative floats, renowned Colombian artists and fantastic food make this a special day for Colombians throughout the Ocean State. For more information, visit

Bolivian Festival of the Virgin of Urkupina, August 13-14, 2011
Bolivians celebrate the birth of the Virgin Mary with folkloric dance groups, colorful performers and outlandish costumes. In recent years, the festival has added food vendors and an impressive parade of hundreds of dancers through the streets of Providence. For more information, visit

Dominican Festival, August 14, 2011
Visitors can join the Dominication nation for a parade that begins on Broad Street and whisks its way into the Roger Williams Park Temple of Music. The festival starts at noon in the park with speeches by local Dominican leaders, island music and a party to preserve and reflect Dominican values within Providence. For more information, visit

Grecian Festival, August 19-21, 2011
Guests can taste traditional foods, experience Greek dance and purchase some of the country's imported goods inside the Assumption of the Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Church. Visitors may also bask outside the church listening to Greek music and imagine, if for only a moment, they are lying on a beautiful beach somewhere among the Hellenic Isles. For more information, visit

Puerto Rican Parade and Festival, August 21, 2011
¡Puerto Ricans Unido! Travelers to Providence can walk in the parade at 10 a.m. from Broad Street to Roger Williams Park and then catch the after-party at noon in the park's Temple of Music, where guests can dance, sing and learn about what it means to be Puerto Rican. For more information, visit

Chinese Dragon Boat Races & Taiwan Day Festival, September 10, 2011
Guests can grab a cab (or push car) to Pawtucket and partake in the Chinese Dragon Boat Races during the Taiwan Day Festival. The famous Taiwanese band Mosou will perform and traditional Chinese food, crafts and exhibits will be on display. Groups can also participate in the Dragon Boat Races along the Pawtucket River. Boats garnering first place receive $1,000. For more information, visit


Central American Festival, September 18, 2011
Travelers can listen to the sounds of marimbas and mejoranas during this late summer festival in the Roger Williams Park Temple of Music. Fans of the Central American culture can eat, drink and dance with local performers. For more information, call 401-481-1108.