The 12th annual Plano International Festival will be held from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., October 1, in downtown Haggard Park, in Plano. More than 100 cultures are represented through music and dance performances, cultural displays, flag parade, an international art exhibit, fashion show and ethnic food. The festival will kick off with an outdoor naturalization ceremony, held in conjunction with civic leaders and the U.S. the Department of Homeland Security.
The gazebo stage features continuous performances from local cultural groups with Aztec Polish, Peruvian, Argentinean and African-American dances. Many local cultural groups will be showcasing and selling artifacts from their country. Plano municipal departments such as police, fire, libraries and environmental services will explain the services and outreach they offer to the community.
Eight food trucks will be serving Mexican, vegetarian and southern soul food, ice cream, boba tea, BBQ and more using 100 percent biodegradable plates utensils, cups and bowls as part of a comprehensive zero waste program that seeks to limit landfill waste. In addition to normal trash and recycling, all waste stations have organic waste bins so people can toss their plates with leftover food right into the bins for later composting by the city of Plano. The festival has diverted more than 80 percent its waste in the past using this innovative program.
The Children’s Global Village is a highlight of the event with a full array of free, hands-on activities where kids can learn about different cultures and make crafts to bring home. There is a science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) tent for kids. Home Depot will offer small construction projects, and the Plano Public Library System holds puppet shows throughout the day. Children will also receive a “passport” to take to different country booths for a stamp, which encourages kids to seek out and interact with cultural displays that they may otherwise miss in a fun way.
A Fitness and Wellness Fair from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. with the fair’s main partner, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Plano, in the Courtyard Theater, comprises 30 organizations offering free flu shots for kids and adults and free blood
pressure diabetes, vision and dental screenings and fitness demonstrations of yoga and other types of exercise.
As part of a new foreign film screening program in conjunction with Indie Meme, the award-winning film Gauru will be screened at 2:25 p.m. This is the only ticketed event, available for $5 online, and benefits the District 2-X1 Lions Club.
Admission to the festival, fitness and wellness fair and parking is free. Location: 15th and Ave. H, Plano. For more information, visit PlanoInternationalFestival.com