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It'll be a small and busy world Saturday in Hinesville
Small World Festival, Dancing with Stars and a track meet all on tap
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Check out life's rich pageant and diversity on Saturday at Bryant Commons. - photo by File photo

Get your passport ready for the Small World Festival coming to Bryant Commons on Saturday.

The annual celebration of all things international kicks off Saturday morning with a 5K fun run/walk, hosted by First Presbyterian Church. Participants will run or walk laps around the lake.

The 5K starts at 7:30 a.m. and on-site registration begins at 6:30 a.m. For adults it is $10, family of four $25, and $5 for children between the ages of 10-18 running independently.

The first 100 participants to sign-up get commemorative sports water bottles.

Medals will be given to first, second and third place winners in the men, women and children categories.

There will be stations along the course giving out water and handing out treats to kids for each lap.

The main festivities run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will feature the Global Learning Village for children.

"We worked with area schools and each school or group took on a country or culture," Michelle Ricketson, executive director of the Hinesville Downtown Development Authority, said. "There will be someone to read to the kids and then they’ll get backpacks courtesy of GeoVista and a passport. Then they can visit all of these countries and learn about food, crafts, art and different things about those countries and they’ll have a backpack they can put all their treasures in. That’s the foundation of the festival."

The festival started in a local school, Ricketson said, where students and teachers of different cultural backgrounds talked about their culture and it "grew beyond a single school to a

to a community initiative."

There will be groups performing cultural dances, with some groups performing twice during the event, and a ZUMBA instructor from the Liberty County/Armed Services YMCA.

The YMCA will also do a Field of Flags fundraiser. People can purchase a U.S. flag for $50 in honor or in memory of someone. The flags will be lined up on the side of the small pond at Bryant Commons.

A portion of the proceeds will go toward the Veterans Memorial Walk.

"When it’s a clear blue sky the reflection of all those flags by the pond will just be awesome," Ricketson said. "It’s really one of those show stopper photo minutes."

The Hinesville Military Affairs Committee will host its third annual International Car Show and there will be a variety of vendors.

If you’re up for more dancing the Atlantic Area CASA will hold its 4th Annual Dancing with the Stars of the Coastal Empire event at 7 p.m. at the Liberty County Performing Arts Center.

Atlantic Area CASA advocates for children in the court system. The organization recruits and trains community members who are interested in being a voice for children. The contestants raise money to help with recruitment and training of volunteers while practicing with a professional dancer for their dance debut.

Contestants are vying for the title of best male dancer, best female dancer and overall winner — the person who raises the most money.

Tickets for the event may be purchased from competitors, or by calling 876-3816.

Bradwell Institute will host the Readie Kelly Invitation track meet on Saturday in honor of the former BI coach.

In addition to track, Kelly coached girls basketball and girls volleyball. She’s considered an institution at Bradwell Institute.

The meet is from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and cost $5 for entry.

Eight to ten teams from local and nearby schools, such as those in Chatham County, Long County and Statesboro, will participate.

Tamara Frazier, guidance department secretary, said Kelly played an integral part in the track program and the school decided to name the event after her.

Frazier also said the event is also a great opportunity for the community to see local talent.

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