After weeks in the planning, the entourage from the People's Republic of China will arrive in Tamaqua on Thursday to give area residents a glimpse of the culture of the world's largest nation.

The Tamaqua Middle School Auditorium will host a the performance of 'COLORFUL CHINA' Thursday evening, November 4, at 6:30 p.m., an event offered free to the public.

The fifty one performers are visiting the United States on a Cultural Exchange Visa, which requires that the event be offered free of charge and open for all to see. Betty McGinnis, director of World Artists Experiences, located in Arnold, Maryland, is traveling with the troupe. .

The rare local performance of this highly acclaimed troupe in Tamaqua was organized by June Krell-Selgado, formerly of Tamaqua, who serves as the director of cultural affairs at Salisbury University in Salisbury, Maryland.

Krell-Selgado teamed up with McGinnis to make the visit to Tamaqua possible as part of the troup's United States tour.

Krell-Selgada contacted the Tamaqua Area School District for their cooperation and enlisted the help of Bernadette Griffiths of Hometown to handle logistics in the Tamaqua area.

"Local businesses, organizations and the school district are pitching in to provide a warm welcome to our guests," said Griffiths.

Local supporters will provide a free lunch and other accommodations at the school district to make the troupe feel welcome and comfortable.

COLORFUL CHINA is a showcase of exquisite costumes, dance, singing, instruments of the rich ethnic fabric of China. They are currently making their debut in the United States. The group is being presented by the Chinese National Museum of Ethnology and the Embassy of the People's Republic of China in the United States together with World Artists Experiences.

The diverse and colorful program highlighting the fifty six ethnic groups of China will feature over forty performers. Their costumes of bright colors, unique and sophisticated styles, and deep cultural meanings will be vividly exhibited in throughout this Chinese experience.

As well as the costumes, the dances and music will exhibit the highly detailed beauty of each ethnic group.

The program is derived from extensive research, collection and preservation of the fifty six ethnic groups of China by the Chinese National Museum of Ethnology. This work is listed as a UNESCO "oral and intangible cultural heritage" in the world.

Almost all ethnic groups in China have their own language, religion, music, dance, architecture and art forms. All of their festivals, weddings, customs, foods, costumes, sports, medicine, crafts and literature represent respectively the ethnic tradition and people's industry and wisdom.

The group has performed in major venues throughout Asia and Europe. Audiences leave with a deep appreciation of China's deep heritage, large land, many ethnic groups, and diversified country.

The hope for these performances of such a group is to boost cultural communication between the United States and China and to learn together from the experience of two nations who have large ethnic diversity.

As the troupe arrives in Tamaqua Thursday morning, they will be welcomed by local organizers in Depot Square Park, weather permitting.

Dale Freudenberger, president, Tamaqua Historical Society, will relay a brief history of Tamaqua and present the visitors with souvenirs of their visit to the Land of Running Water courtesy of the historical society.

Their visit will include lunch in downtown Tamaqua prior to heading up to the Tamaqua Area Middle School to rehearse before the evening performance.

Prior to the start of the performance, those attending will be treated to an exhibit of art and costumes from China in the lobby of the auditorium.

For further information, contact Bernadette Griffiths at (570) 668-5191.