International Festival embraces culture with unique performances, vendors
BY DANA PATTERSON — Vendors will share culture through music, dance and food to help celebrate the diversity of Hyattsville at the International Festival. Expect Japanese and Brazilian drumming, South African dancing, Russian music and dance, and much more at the International Festival this Saturday, June 3, from 5 to 9 p.m. The festival will be celebrating its fourth year at Heurich Park, located at 2800 Nicholson Street.
“We look for vendors who offer goods or information for the festival attendees,” said event coordinator, Cheri Everhart. “This year’s event will expect 12 to 15 vendors, including information vendors, vendors selling items, and food vendors.”
New food vendors this year will be Leyla’s Café serving El Salvadoran food, KaftaMania food truck serving Turkish Kafta, healthy food options by TimeMakers, and Mister Magic Soft Ice Cream. Several varieties of international brews will also be available for purchase.
In addition to food vendors, local civic groups, community organizations and businesses will be there to share information. Prince George’s Community College will be in attendance to share their program, Academic ESL, which prepares non-native speakers to attend college or university in the United States. The classes focus on academic vocabulary, reading skills, and writing skills. An international company called Education First will be on-site, which specializes in language training, educational travel, academic degree programs and cultural exchange. Prince George’s County Family Justice Center will make an appearance with a possible focus on promoting its advocacy services (safety planning crisis counseling and court accompaniment), social services (housing assistance and financial assistance) and basic support assistance (medical , clothing and transportation).
What’s a festival without entertainment? Everhart said the event will also have live music and entertainment.
“By varying the entertainment each year, we [Department of Community Services] try to make each International Festival unique,” said Everhart.
Opening up for the festival will be a Japanese drumming performance by Mark H. Rooney who studies, performs and teaches Taiko, which is a dynamic form of full-body drumming based on Japanese tradition. He will be showcasing the Introduction of Taiko: the Art of Japanese Drumming. Also performing will be the Lesole’s Dance Project, highlighting South African traditional dances, American modern dance and AfroFusion dance; Samba Travao Brazilian drumming and Capoeira Brazilian martial arts; Russian music, dance and song ensemble Barynya, along with others.
The kids will have lots of options to keep them entertained, too. There will be inflatables and bounce houses, Mandy the Clown, face painting, and art activities provided by ArtWorks Now.
Dana Patterson is a summer intern with the Hyattsville Life & Times. She is a resident of Hyattsville and a rising junior at Pennsylvania State University.