Harrisonburg International Festival announces entertainment, food, artisan lineups

Harrisonburg International FestivalThe Harrisonburg International Festival will kick off at noon in Downtown Harrisonburg on Saturday, Sept. 29, and a full lineup of international food, entertainment, and artisan vendors is on tap for the event, as well as exciting children’s activities and business networking opportunities.

The festival’s popular Global Village will have country tents featuring cultural displays and representatives from Harrisonburg’s Filipino-American, Samoan, Salvadorian, Pakistani, Palestinian/Jordanian, and Kurdish communities and more.

The free event runs from 12 – 6 pm, with activities and booths stretching from Court Square to Turner Pavilion. Attendees can expect a wide variety of global cuisine served up by more than a dozen food vendors. Members of the Harrisonburg Farmers’ Market and downtown restaurants will also offer special international fare.

Festival goers can browse the World Bazaar, with 20+ artisans carrying wares ranging from handmade clothing and jewelry to woodworking, musical instruments, and stained glass. Several downtown merchants will join in with special activities and sales just for the event. Dozens of social service agencies and local businesses will round out festival booth offerings in the World of Commerce networking area.

A list of all food and artisan vendors and networking participants can be found at www.harrisonburg-international-festival.org.

Children’s activities provided by Gus Bus, Baha’i Community, Shenandoah Valley Scholars Latino Initiative, and SPECTRUM will be ongoing near Turner Pavilion featuring tissue flowers, beaded jewelry, arts and crafts, face painting, and Hispanic cultural arts and crafts. Participants can also pick up a special Kids’ Passport in the children’s area featuring questions about various countries. They can then visit the Global Village to complete their passport and collect a prize. Additionally, the Explore More Discovery Museum, the Virginia Quilt Museum, and the Massanutten Regional Library will be offering more FREE kids’ activities throughout the afternoon.

Entertainment on two stages will include an eclectic mix of dance, music, fashion, and audience participation activities.

Now in its 21st year, the Harrisonburg International Festival started as a grassroots effort to showcase and unite the city’s various international populations, celebrate the cultural and linguistic richness they bring to the region, and provide greater understanding within the overall community. Considered one of Harrisonburg’s most recognizable and well-loved community events, the festival attracted more than 9,000 attendees in 2017 and was voted “Best Festival/Event” in the Daily News-Record’s Best of the Valley 2018 readers’ poll, and took 3rd place in the Best Food Festival category in Virginia Living Magazine‘s Best of Virginia, Shenandoah Valley Region 2018.

Funded by local business sponsorships and grants, the festival is manned by an enthusiastic group of volunteers and organized by Harrisonburg’s FairField Center and Harrisonburg Parks and Recreation. It is a program of the FairField Center’s Civic Engagement branch. FairField Center was founded in 1982 and was originally known as the Community Mediation Center. As the first mediation program established in Virginia, FairField Center has served a cross-section of Virginia’s population, providing not only interpersonal mediation services, but also restorative justice programs and facilitation and training to resolve conflicts and enhance communication and joint decision-making for schools, businesses, organizations, and communities-at-large.

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