by Ronda Payne
The 15th annual Langley’s International Festival returns to Willoughby Community Park (south of the Langley Events Centre) this weekend.
The fun begins at 10 a.m. both days and ends at 9 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 22 and 6 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 23.
Along with many of the expected activities a visit to the seven wonders of the world joins the mix, noted the event’s communication and media director Sarwan Singh Randhawa.
“The seven wonders of the world is large sized pictures of the seven wonders. People can take a picture in front of them,” he said.
The Roman Colosseum, the Great Wall of China, and the Taj Mahal are three of the wonders to be on display with information about the origins of each.
The seven wonders will be located in the event’s international village, which in itself may just be wondrous. Booths, tents, flags, and costumes make up the village which features information from a number of regions around the world. Visitors can find travel information, learn about history, and explore the unique cultures of those who have lived it.
There is always an international parade at the event with participants in regional attire and this year’s will take place at about 3:30 p.m. on Sunday.
“It’s very colourful,” Randhawa said of the parade. “We have flags from 70 countries. It takes almost 15 minutes just to get everyone close to the main stage, then they walk around the booths.”
The Langley’s International Festival Society president, Tomas Reyes, enjoys the plethora of cultures in one place.
“I think, what I like the most… is it’s a very valuable thing for the community. It’s about integration,” he said. “Ultimately, it’s that goal, of showcasing the very colourful background we have in Canada.”
Organizers spend a great deal of time putting the event together and even developed a new logo this year shortening the name to Langley’s International Fest. It’s come a long way from the event that began on the streets of downtown back in 2001.
Food is an important consideration for visitors and Randhawa noted, “we have a lot actually… there will be a great variety of food from various cultures.”
Kids will find plenty to do in the children’s chalet from multicultural crafts and bouncy castles to the activities specifically from the Fraser Valley Regional Library.
“We have so much to give away,” said Randhawa. “Hundreds of books and Frisbees. We have a lot to give away.”
The international market features vendors from around the world with hand-crafted jewelry, clothing, and gift items. There will also be an international cultural art gallery displaying the detailed creative work of various regions around the globe.
Entertainment will be non-stop on the main stage with everything from cultural dancers and musicians to a Beatles tribute band on Saturday night.
Admission is free for those 12 and under and a $2 donation for attendees 13 and up. A family admission is a $5 donation. Parking is free at the Langley Events Centre.
“Parking will not be a problem,” noted Randhawa. “There will not be a problem finding a spot.”
More information is available online at www.internationalfestival.ca or by email at email@example.com, or call 778-298-7703.