Global Village Festival Celebrates Akron’s Ethnically Diverse Community – 2013-09-13

By: Katie Sobiech

Global Village FestivalWith fall right at our doorstep, can you believe it’s time for Akron’s last festival of the summer?

Take a trip around the globe without having to get a passport or buy expensive plane tickets. Come see and experience a melting pot of eclectic ethnicities and cultures right here in your own backyard.

September 14th will mark the 2nd Annual Global Village Festival, which will be held from 1-8 p.m. at Locks 3 & 4.

“It’s going to be a big hurrah for all,” Helena Larios, Festival Committee Coordinator for Global Village Festival, said.

It will be a celebration of Akron’s and Summit County’s ethnic and cultural diversity, which has grown tremendously throughout the years.

Growing Diversity

Global Village Festival

As of today, Larios says, over 31 cultural groups have been identified in the Akron area and will participate in various ways.

There will be food vendors, a global market with fair trade, and local artisans who will feature their own merchandise, traditional dance, song and music.

“It’s a celebration of their heritage,” Larios said.

There will be musical performances including Irish, Latin, Jazz, and Reggae, as well as Yoga, belly dancing and other activities.

Reaching all Ages & Groups

Global Village Festival

“Kid’s Nation” is a fun part of the event for the younger generation. Here kids can make crafts representative of the various continents, and they are taught to identify different continents.

The issue of bullying is also addressed.

An interfaith discussion will be held as well.

Global Village Festival

“It gets to the nuts and bolts of what makes Global Village so very unique – to appreciate another’s culture,” Larios explained.

But, Larios says “It’s all about celebrating and having a good time as well.”

Why it Began

Glpbal Village Festival

The idea of the festival came to life in 2010 after much discussion.

Their founding agencies include United Way, Akron International Friendship, Asia Inc., and International Institute of Akron.

“Akron has a very rich history of immigrants and business establishments and as our refugee and immigrant population continues to grow we want to be able to celebrate that. It came about as an understanding and appreciation for one another’s cultures,” Larios said.

Global Village Festival

And her enthusiasm for the event shows.

“Invite people down for a global experience. You won’t get this anywhere else; usually you have to purchase a passport. It’s pretty impressive to see all of these groups coming together and truly forming a global experience and celebration. Be excited!” she continued.

Global Village Festival

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