International Festival Returns in October
Writer / Stephanie Singh
On October 5, 2019, flags from across the world lined the trail and hung from tents at Talon Stream Park in Plainfield. Music from different cultures blasted across the park. Colorful attire, delicious food and rich traditions invited people into vendor booths. Neighbors walked away from the free event enriched by the sounds, conversations and sights, shared with them from unique perspectives.
Nearly 2,000 people came out to the inaugural Plainfield International Festival to learn about different cultures through dance, food and conversation. The need for culture acceptance and celebration was alive and well in Hendricks County, and the world would feel the need for such an event in 2020. Unfortunately, the global pandemic would also put a stop to such a meaningful affair.
During a local diversity council meeting in June of 2020, a Plainfield resident said he had never been prouder of his community than on that October day in 2019. The committee members who created the festival set their eyes on a second annual International Festival for the year 2021, knowing events like these make the community a better place to live, work and play.
There’s great pride in Hendricks County, and there’s undoubtedly great pride in sharing various aspects of one’s culture. The event organizers enjoy the opportunity to bring the two together. Discussions with the Hendricks County Community Foundation, following their Community Needs Assessment, opened the door to renaming the event the Hendricks County International Festival, to help build community unity across all towns in the county. The Plainfield International Festival board voted to change the name to broaden their reach.
Performers with roots from Japan, West Africa, Mexico and Scotland will showcase their cultures through song and dance. Vendors and educators from India, Poland, Russia, Kenya and Peru – to name a few – will be set up to interact with festival goers. And what’s a festival without food? Vendors representing India, Jamaica, Mexico and Thailand will offer samplings and platters for those who have an appetite.
The 2020 Census shows us that Hendricks County is more diverse than it’s ever been before, and an event like this invites us to learn from our neighbors.
The leaders of the festival invite community members near and far to enjoy this free event, created to introduce diverse cultures to our community, in order to encourage and increase awareness for the people representing many cultures who live, work and reside in the county. The Hendricks County International Festival takes place on the first Saturday in October at Talon Stream Park, located just north of the Richard A. Carlucci Recreation and Aquatic Center in Plainfield.
For more information and updates on the event, visit facebook.com/hendricksinternationalfest.