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ART BEAT: Snellville to feature second annual international festival

Many international cultural performances and demonstrations will be shown at Around the World Visits Snellville on Sept. 21 in Briscoe Park. (Special Photo)

Many international cultural performances and demonstrations will be shown at Around the World Visits Snellville on Sept. 21 in Briscoe Park. (Special Photo)

Around the World Visits Snellville celebrates its second year of offering diversity and beautiful international art to the community on Sept. 21 from 1 to 7 p.m. in Briscoe Park. More than 1,000 people visited the first edition last year, and the 2013 event promises to be even bigger.

Snellville has a growing international population, and this festival will be filled with an array of international art, cultural displays, traditional costumes, music and global flavors to entice the palate. It is being presented by the Snellville Tourism and Trade Association.

Visitors will receive a special passport to be stamped by each of the countries represented, documenting the festival-goers’ journey around the world in Briscoe Park.

Keisha Cameron was one of the catalysts who launched last year’s festival, and she is back at the helm this year. The origins of the event lie in the desire of the STTA to highlight the diversity and cultural richness of the city.

“The festival was a special collaboration between Aysha Cooper and me on behalf of the Snellville Tourism and Trade Association,” Cameron said. “Aysha had been interested in starting an international festival for the city, and Sally Corbett, then Executive Director of Artworks Gwinnett, recommended me to her based on a conversation we had in which I had indicated my desire to put an international festival together for our community.

“Aysha and I were a great fit, and after last year’s inaugural success, she and I agreed to work together again to do this with for the city a second year. Visitors will be able to shop in our international bazaar as well as enjoy global cuisines, games and plenty of fun for the family. At sundown we will show a family-friendly movie, ‘Brave,’ as part of Popcorn in the Park.”

Among the happenings in the park this year will be Japanese Swordsmanship of Gwinnett, Heidi Hernandez of Jahara Phoenix Dance Company, Moksha, African storyteller Akbar Imhotep and Indian dancers.

The edible art consists of authentic menus from Greek to Mexican with additional cooking demonstrations. There will be a children’s cultural crafts tent, school art contest, cultural displays, global bazaar and an international café.

In addition to the performers above, the Festival Main Stage will feature such acts as Cooking with Massimo, Charles Minter Karate, Ballet Folklorico Dance, Romanian Folk Dancers and Tabla player SwarGanga-Rohit Bhat.

“We hope to offer people an opportunity to come together to learn and celebrate one another and the numerous cultures that make up our wonderful community,” Cameron said. “It is a chance to have fun, meet neighbors and highlight one of the things that makes us great as a nation: our culture.”

For more information about Around the World Visits Snellville, www.snellvillepride.com.

Holley Calmes is a freelance writer and public relations consultant specializing in the arts. Email her at hcalmes@mindspring.com.