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Small World Festival in planning stages
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Servers at last year’s Small World Festival fill a plate with food. - photo by Courier file photo

Fans of multicultural entertainment and discovery who missed Tuesday’s Small World Festival planning meeting still have time to get in on the ground floor. The Hinesville Downtown Development Authority will host another meeting at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 26 in City Hall and residents who want to represent cultures and nations from around the world are encouraged to attend and help grow the event even more.

"The good news is we have already increased the multicultural groups being represented," HDDA director Vicki Davis said. "We have a lot of great things planned."

The 2010 Small World Festival is scheduled for May 15 in Bradwell Park and the courthouse square in downtown Hinesville, from 11 a.m-6 p.m.

Davis said the festival features three main components for displaying cultural treasures: international food court, world marketplace and cultural entertainment. "We’re hoping to expand by having two entertainment venues, and we want to increase our marketplace [offerings]," she said. Davis said groups may also contribute educational opportunities to the festival, such as exhibits and demonstrations.

Currently, groups representing Latin American nations, Polynesian and island communities such as Jamaica are set to participate.

The Hispanic Heritage Club of Hinesville played an integral role in last year’s festival and its members are making plans to do the same in May. "We have anywhere from 40 to 50 people participating," said club treasurer Christine Ruiz.

"I like to see people gather to be educated about Latin American countries," Ruiz said of her participation in the event. "The dance group is constantly practicing, and for the food, planning takes about two months."

Latin fare served at the festival will consist of Puerto Rican dishes, and dances native to Cuba, Mexico, Puerto Rico and other Latin nations will be featured, she added.

Davis said she also hopes to see groups representing the city’s Asian community take part in the festival. "That is such a vital part of who Hinesville is," she said. Davis said there’s also been greater interest in showcasing African cultures and she would like to see representatives of European and U.K. cultures such as Italian, Irish and Scottish.

Interested vendors who complete the application by the early bird deadline of March 26 pay $50; the regular fee is $75 and the late fee is $100. The Small World Festival also is looking for sponsors to help support the production of the event, Davis said.

For more information on participating in the Small World Festival, call the downtown development authority office at 877-4332 or e-mail HDDA also maintains a site on Facebook.

For information about Hispanic Heritage Club, call Ruiz at 370-2886.

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