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POSTED: April 24, 2012 8:23 p.m.
Michelle L. Gordon/

Hac Long Duong Lion Dance Troupe will bring a colorful Chinese dragon to this year’s Small World Festival Saturday.

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Ready for a trip around the world?

You won’t need a ticket, as Hinesville celebrates the diversity of its international community at the fourth annual Small World Festival from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday. The festival is downtown around the courthouse and will feature a world market, including a food court and ethnic entertainment.

“The Small World Festival in Hinesville was held in the 1980s and 90s in celebration of the numerous countries and cultures represented in the area,” Hinesville Mayor Jim Thomas said.

He said he encouraged the city’s Downtown Development Authority to restart the festival to help welcome the many expatriots who have moved here with military personnel. It also gives those soldiers and civilian residents more to do.

New entertainment this year includes the  Hac Long Duong Lion Dance Troupe. It will have a Chinese dragon and dancers in brightly colored costumes and drums beating for the dragon’s heart.

Other groups coming include One Nation Under Praise, Conjunto Folklorico Orgullo Panameno, Children of Polynesia, Hinzarrah Gypsies, Island Rythms Caribbean Association’s Errol “Trini” Brown, Hispanic Heritage and Bhavi Patel. The event will conclude with a cultural street dance featuring Puerto Rican band Grupo Son Del Coqui.

A taste of the cultures can be experienced in the food court, which will line both sides of Commerce Street. Authentic cuisine ranging from snacks and sweets to full meals from Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, Italy and many others will be represented.

“Hinesville and Liberty County have very strong cultural roots and this event is a great way for everyone to come together and celebrate their backgrounds,” HDDA program assistant Katrina Sage said.

Besides HDDA, the festival is organized by the Liberty County Convention and Visitors Bureau and Fort Stewart Moral Welfare and Recreation office. For more information, call Sage at 877-4332 or email: discoverdowntown@coastalnow.net.

 

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