ONTARIO – The ninth annual America Global Village Festival will kick off Saturday, June 3, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Lions Park.
The event showcases different booths – or villages – representing a variety of local cultures that populate Malheur County and the lower Treasure Valley. The festival is sponsored by the Ontario Area Chamber of Commerce.
“It is really our signature event because it gives us the opportunity to celebrate what we have here,” said John Breidenbach, president of the Ontario Area Chamber of Commerce.
Breidenbach said there will be more than seven villages this year at the event. Those villages represent Basque, Indian, Iraqi, Irish, Japanese, Mexican, Scottish and Somalin cultures.
Breidenbach said the Iraqi and Somalin booths are new additions this year.
At each booth, festival-goers can enjoy unique foods and other items from a specific culture. Admission to the festival is free.
Children can attain a passport when they enter and, as they visit each booth, get a stamp for participating in a game or other activity. The passports can be turned in for a drawing on a bike.
Also, this year the festival will offer another session of the Tom Keffer Memorial Highland Games throughout the day. The games spotlight traditional athletic events focused on the Scottish and Celtic culture. Another key event at the festival, said Breidenbach, will be a swearing-in ceremony for new American citizens. Breidenbach said he expects between 1,500 and 2,000 people to event.
There will also be a cultural parade, crafts and plenty of kids activities, said Breidenbach.
“I am excited,” said Breidenbach.
For more information, contact the Ontario Area Chamber of Commerce at 541-889-8012.
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