THE THEME FOR 2017: FOLK MEDICINE
There will be booths from 31 groups at the Festival and each of them is required to display some aspect of their culture as part of their booth. Every year we agree on what aspect we will be focusing on and in 2017 the theme is “Folk Medicine”.
We are pleased to announce that in 2017 we will be presenting the Tamburitzans. Long associated with Duquesne University, but now expanded to draw talent from the entire Pittsburgh area, they are arguably the best Eastern European dance troupe anywhere. They will be on our stages Saturday, May 20.
The ever-popular Kenya Safari Acrobats will be back. They will be on our stages Saturday and Sunday. The Burundi drummers are also returning.
The old formal stage is now the Main Stage and the informal stage is now the Interactive Stage. Just the names have changed, not the nature of any performances. We decided to rename them to better reflect their characters.
YOUTH AMBASSADOR PAGEANT
This year there will be no pageant for selecting the Ambassadors. In place of the pageant the youth will select the ambassadors themselves. There will be a new contest named after the late Carl Day where the youth will compete with with written essays for a scholarship of $500. The Junior Ambassador (ages 7-11) pageant will be held as usual on Friday.
There will be a new member of the Festival this year: Kenya. They have previous experience with the Festival and we welcome them. They are being represented by the Miami Valley United Kenyan Association.
PET ADOPTION FAIR
The Humane Society of Greater Dayton will be our guests in the lobby, with many of their fun, friendly, and furry pets who are available for adoption. Stop by and visit, receive information about how you might adopt, volunteer, donate or otherwise help these wonderful animals in need of good homes. Their schedule is:
Friday 5:00–7:00 pm
Saturday 2:00–5:00 pm
Sunday 12:00–3:00 pm
Kettering Health Network and the Asian Cultural Association will once again host a free health fair in the lobby on Saturday and Sunday, featuring screening, informational handouts, referrals, and more.
Back by popular demand, we welcome the Dayton Chess Club. Whether you are a beginner or an accomplished player, you will find matches, instruction and more. Fun for young and old alike.
Another event that has become very popular with the Friday night festival attendees is the Beer Passport. Stop by the wristband booth and purchase a passport which entitles you to a sample size beer at each of the participating booths. When your passport is complete, return to the wristband booth and cast your vote for your favorite beer. By doing so you will be entered into a drawing for a lovely gift. (Friday only.)
Upon entering the festival all children will be given a passport. There is a page and a question for each of the member booths. The children visit each booth, find the answer to the question, and have their passports stamped. When completed the children can go to the Youth Booth and enter to win a basket of international toys.
Dayton has a reputation for being an Immigrant-friendly city, and is committed to welcoming new citizens. On Saturday, beginning at noon-ish, there will be a Naturalization Ceremony in Room 106 (on the other side of the lobby). Join in the celebration and welcome our newest citizens. Final count isn’t available, somewhere around 60.