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Storm system strikes ‘World’

Storm system strikes ‘World’
Storm system strikes ‘World’
A severe thunderstorm late Saturday afternoon obliterated the 12th annual World on the Square cultural diversity celebration in Corydon. Most of the 32 exhibitors’ tents were ruined by severe winds that ripped through Harrison County about an hour after the festival started. Although tents were sent flying into the air and some tree limbs came down, no one was injured. Photo by Randy West (click for larger version)

A storm system that moved through Harrison County late Saturday afternoon struck the 12th annual World on the Square family festival and knocked down numerous tree branches and uprooted trees.
The system also struck Floyd County before jumping the Ohio River and doing more damage in Jefferson County, Ky., where some students, scheduled to return to the classrooms on Monday, received an extended summer break due to power outages.
A separate storm system was responsible for collapsing a free-standing stage at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis just minutes before the country group Sugarland was scheduled to perform. Five people died after parts of the stage fell on them and another 100 were injured.
In Harrison County, the severe thunderstorm blew through about 90 minutes after the festival began at 4 p.m., sending canopies and items that had been on display across the Corydon town square lawn.
There were 30 international exhibitors, including about a dozen first-time participants at the festival. No one was injured at the event that was to last until 8 that evening.
Last year’s World on the Square got off to a rough start when a storm system passed through, dumping heavy rain, near the start time. However, once the system had passed, exhibitors and organizers dried off tables and chairs, the sun came out and the festival went on without a hitch.
Community Unity, a nonprofit organization, sponsors the annual festival which was started in response to a visit in Corydon by the Klu Klux Klan. The goal of the festival is to celebrate diversity and intercultural understanding. Visitors can receive information about various countries ‘ from Bolivia to Uzbekistan ‘ and children can receive a prize after completing a ‘passport’, which has them find answers to questions. This year, children could win inflatable globes playing international games by the Indiana University Southeast Center for Cultural Resources.
The event also includes musical entertainment. Scheduled this year was Guilderoy Byrne, a regional folk band based in Louisville; musicians, as well as dancers from Flamenco Talk in Louisville; the Salsa Rhythms Band; and bagpiper David Stewart. The Native American Color Guard from the Ohio Valley Native American Veteran Warrior Society was also scheduled for an appearance.
For more information about Community Unity or World on the Square, visit the group’s website: www.CommunityUnity.org.

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