Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Global Village Festival in downtown Akron--Saturday, Sept. 14th, 2013

Global Village Festival, Saturday Sept. 14th, 2013
by Joanna Wilson

The buzz around town is the excitement for the 2nd annual Global Village Festival being held this weekend at Lock 3 in downtown.  This celebration of greater Akron's history of diversity and ethnic communities looks to be a fun-filled event with attractions for the whole family.  You can expect to find ethnic food, international wine tasting, cooking demonstrations, and a fair trade market place.  Stages at Lock 3 and Lock 4 will host cultural entertainment with authentic ethnic music, dance, and other performances.  There will also be interactive cultural, religious, and holistic health exhibits.  This family-friendly event also has special attractions for all ages including Kids Nation, a space for cultural crafts, games, and other fun activities to include everyone.

Last year's event included Indian dancers.

Global Village Festival runs from 1pm-8pm with free admission and free parking.  Check out the festival schedule for more information and for the list of musical acts and bands participating and their performance times.  This year's theme is "Walking Through the Looking Glass" an opportunity not only to examine but to reflect--a fascinating theme for cultural awareness in the Akron Empire.  You'll find a wide range of cultures represented at this event from European, African, and Caribbean traditions to a variety of Asian and Central and South American cultures.

The Cleveland Chinese Music Ensemble performing at last year's festival.

The Festival Committee Coordinator Helena Larios shared her passion for this annual event with me.  "Where else are you able to be entertained with 16 Music and Dance Performances and 7 Group fitness/health classes; without paying for admission or parking? We are so thankful that the City of Akron has graciously provided sponsorship to make that possible."
"It is my hope that readers will take advantage of the opportunity to have real life interactive experiences that may not otherwise ever occur without a passport.  This is an opportunity- rain or shine- to allow your senses to celebrate the delicious smells wafting from the World Café and taste amazing foods.  Touch and examine the intricate detailing of  handmade merchandise that is unique and one of a kind.  Dance with our performers or experience new holistic health practices.  Have your name written in another language or with different alphabet characters.  Simply put; we are reflecting what is happening in our neighborhoods and are glad to share it with the community at large.  Akron should be proud of its ethnic and cultural diversity."
I asked Larios what this festival means to her personally and she explains, "The Global Village Festival of Greater Akron is a way to preserve my traditional cultural heritage and also share its evolution with family, friends and the community at large.  We are taught, in error, that traditional customs are rigid and unchanging.  I am of the opinion, that our cultures continue to change, as in times past, in order to be preserved and also to bring unity and common bond to humanity.  It is my goal to respectfully demonstrate the concept of Walking through the Looking Glass to closely examine things that are new and unknown to us while also reflecting deeply upon our own thoughts and opinions.  (A looking glass is a magnifying or telescope as well as a mirror).  I know that I have learned so much about humanity over the past few months that remind me of the basic human need to be loved and show love to our fellow mankind."

For more information: Global Village Festival website
The Festival is Saturday, Sept. 14th, 1pm--8pm, at Lock 3 downtown
FREE admission, free parking--rain or shine!

Keep up to date with the Global Village Festival on Facebook

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