Langley’s International Festival will be back for the 13th time, with this year’s event on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 24 and 25.
It will be held at Willoughby Community Park, next to the Langley Events Centre, at 80 Avenue and 200 Street. It runs from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.
A wide variety of events are planned at this year’s festival, which is growing each year as Langley becomes more multicultural.
The event is “an international experience in our own back yard,” say organizers. There will be many international country pavilions with ambassadors to greet you, art from various cultures, an international marketplace with jewelry and knick-knacks from all over the world, food from many different countries and interactive dancing.
There will be a special children’s chalet, with talent and magic shows, crafts, bouncy castle, mini-golf, face painting, balloons, mural painting, a riding academy for children and dog shows.
Parents can register their children in the “Kidz Have Talent” show, where they get the opportunity to win a scholarship.
Fraser Valley Regional Library, a longtime sponsor of the festival, will host a kite making and flying workshop.
There will also be continuous entertainment on the main stage, with talent from all over the world. Camilo Dominguez, a well-known comedian and magician, will be the emcee during the two-day festival.
On Saturday, the Orchestra Tropicana Latin band will close the entertainment with a performance from 6 to 8 p.m.
There will be a parade of nations at 2 p.m. Sunday.
Bard in the Valley will be back again this year, and will present William Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors at the festival. Show times are 6 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday.
The festival also includes soccer and rugby tournaments.
Admission to the festival is $2 for adults and $5 for families of up to five. Children are admitted free. There is free parking at the Events Centre.
One project that the organizers hope wins wide support is the Kabala project.
This is spearheaded by the Rotary Club of Langley Central, in partnership with Rotaract and the International Festival Society.
The club is selling one foot by one foot squares to be mounted on a giant aluminum frame for $10 each. The squares can contain artwork, personal messages or other items.
The completed canvases will be mounted on a 12-foot aluminum frame. When each frame is filled, it will be displayed in various locations throughout Langley to promote the project. Future squares will be sold to make future completed banners.
This is the first year the club is mounting Quest To Change. This year’s effort supports agriculture and scholarship projects in Sierra Leone, West Africa, which are being undertaken by the People’s Foundation of Sierra Leone, a local charity.
The foundation was organized by Krissi Bucholtz, a 22-year-old who first visited Sierra Leone as part of a trip in her Grade 12 year at Fraser Valley Christian High School in Surrey.
The school had partnered with local groups in the town of Kabala to build a primary school.
Her visit inspired her to set up a foundation to assist young people in Sierra Leone obtain university educations and helping change their country.
Sierra Leone, which has a population of six million, endured a brutal civil war from 1992 to 2002, and is one of the poorest countries in the world.
The foundation has set up an agricultural project in Kabala to help raise funds for university scholarships within Sierra Leone.
Rotary Club spokesman Carlos Trujillo said the funds raised in Langley will be delivered to Sierra Leone through a local Rotary Club there, to ensure the money goes to its intended purpose.
Funds raised by the Langley club will be tripled through grants from Rotary International.
He is excited about the potential of the Quest To Change project and hopes it will make a significant difference in the lives of young Sierra Leoneans.
The club is planning to have a new Quest to Change project each year and to introduce it at each year’s In ternational Festival.