I come back and there's a lot of people I encounter who don't realize I don't live here because they see me every year at Folklorama.
—Sandra Graham, Africa/Caribbean Pavilion volunteer
"The Africa/Caribbean Pavilion
is one of five original pavilions that has carried on since the
beginning of Folklorama," says Sandra Graham -- and she should know.
Wichita Kansas resident has been a part of the Africa/Caribbean
Pavilion since 1970. As a young girl living in Winnipeg, she danced
every year at Folklorama. Her work eventually took her to the United
States, but she still comes back to teach the dance group and
The reason she returns every year is for the huge
"I come back and there's a lot of people I encounter
who don't realize I don't live here because they see me every year at
Folklorama" says Graham. "My son has been coming to Folkorama since he
was two-weeks-old. He has learned a lot about the African culture, the
culture, about our people. You see, there are not a lot of African or
Caribbean people where we live. So he had never seen a black person with
Dancer at Africa/Caribbean Pavilion (Lance Thomson)
Graham only missed two folkloramas in 42 years -- once because she was in a coma after a car accident and the other time she was at a family reunion in Jamaica.
This diehard fan admits her favourite aspect of the pavilion is the dancing. She has enjoyed watching the children she knows grow up. "It's really nice when a little dancer will come up to me and she'll say 'So-and-so taught me this step and they said to come and ask you where it's from and what it's called.' I like that."
The Africa/Caribbean Pavilion continues until Saturday August 11 at Grant Park High School.Hear Sandra Graham on the Weekend Morning Show with Ismaila Alfa on Saturday August 11 at 7:40 a.m.
, 89.3 FM