Meet Emelyne Adios.
She’s a 30-year-old fashion designer and health care worker from Burundi who runs her own small clothing business, Style by Emelyne.
Her colorful clothes will be among the many things featured at this year’s Concord Multicultural Festival, held on the third Sunday in September at Keach Park on the Heights.
She’s also on our cover this issue. You can read her story, written by Eileen O’Grady, on Page 24.
The festival, which runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sept. 19 features foods, performances, art, activities, and a parade of flags. It’s both a way to welcome newcomers to the Concord community and for long-time residents to see and appreciate the city’s growth.
Hopefully, this issue arrives to you in time for the event. Even if it doesn’t, there are plenty of ways to connect with this thriving community.
New Census data shows that Concord has grown to contain one of the most racially diverse neighborhoods in the state in the Heights area around Loudon Road. One out of every three residents is non-white, with 14% Asian, 13% Black or African American, and 5% two or more races.
That gives the city a lot to celebrate, for sure, but some of the healthiest communities have racial and economic diversity spread across wide areas, as opposed to confined in pockets, which gives Concord even more room to grow.
The theme of this year’s celebration of diversity is “this is us.”
“The theme emphasizes the fact that each of us is a unique and beautiful thread, woven together creating a vibrant social fabric that makes our community so special,” wrote festival organizer Jessica Livingston.
Adios, who lives in Manchester and works in Concord, hopes to make more connections, grow her business, and remain rooted right here in the Granite State.
“This place gave me an opportunity to be who I am,” Adios said. “If I am going to be big, I am going to be big here, because this is home.”
Jonathan Van Fleet