FAIRFIELD — A celebration of global proportions is returning to Fairfield.
The Fairfield Cultural Alliance will host the second annual World Fair Field International Festival on Saturday, Sept. 14 in and around Fairfield’s Central Park.
The event features a parade of nations, a baking contest, booths highlighting various countries and a full day of live music.
The first event of the day will be the Parade of Colors sidewalk parade from Howard Park to Central Park. Anyone with an affiliation or affection for a particular country or culture is welcome to join the walk in costume and/or with flags. Attendees are asked to gather at Howard Park at 11:30 a.m., with the parade beginning at noon. Mayor Ed Malloy will welcome guests to the festival in Central Park.
Local bakers will once again be invited to bring out baking creations made from their favorite recipes to compete for prizes. All manner of home-baked goods made from recipes of international origin will be accepted to be judged by local baking celebrities. The celebrities are: Curtis Goudy, head baker at Hy-Vee; Stephen Boss, local foodie and producer of the Great Taste radio/television show; and Eric Rusch, of Breadtopia, local bread baking enthusiast.
Three prizes in each of two categories (pastry/dessert and bread) will be awarded in a blind taste-test judging. The judges will be looking for superior quality in appearance, flavor, and texture.
This is also an opportunity to donate baked goods even if the baker does not want to take part in the contest. All baked goods involved, whether being judged or not, will be accepted as donations to help support the festival, and will be given out for monetary donations to the cause.
Those who wish to take part can email email@example.com. The email should include the following information: name, address, phone number, name of recipe, recipe origin, list of all ingredients used, and indicate whether you want your baked goods to be judged in the baking contest. Participants are asked to bring their baked goods to Central Park by 1 p.m. Sept. 14.
FCA Board President Denyce Rusch said those who wish to set up a booth to serve food other than baked goods must obtain the requisite permits from the city and state. Those who wish to submit baked goods for the contest do not need a food serving license.
Hungry attendees won’t have to go far for a meal that day because they’ll have three food vendors to choose from: Neerja Maheshwari’s Indian food, Addis Ethiopian Cuisine, and Green Gourmet (Indian, Thai, Chinese and American).
Attendees will be treated to music and dancing the entire afternoon and evening until the festival wraps up at 10:30 p.m. Entertainers will perform on a stage on the north side of the square.
Following is the schedule of performers:
1:30-2 p.m.: Fairfield Music and Dance of India
2-3 p.m.: Fairtown Ramblers
3-3:30 p.m.: Fairfield Iowa School of Aikido — Aikido introduction and demonstration
3:30-4:30 p.m.: Jonas Magram Jazz Quintet — Latin Jazz
5-6 p.m.: Skunk River Medicine Show
6:30-7:30 p.m.: Barefoot Becky & the Ivanhoe Dutchmen
7:30-8 p.m.: Amine Kouider & Karen Aoki
8-9 p.m.: Legendary Irish piper Tim Britton with Pat Eagan and dancer Lucia Papp
9-9:30 p.m.: Amine Kouider & Karen Aoki
9-10:30 p.m.: Bambu — rockin’ hip-hop with a Latin flair to dance the night away
Rusch said many of the bands are return performers from last year, with a few new faces such as Fairtown Ramblers and Barefoot Becky & the Ivanhoe Dutchmen. She hopes the festival will be every bit as lively as last year when 25 countries were represented through informational booths set up throughout the park. That year, about 600 people attended the festival.
“The festival was inspired by Kaye Jacob and Richard Beall from Maharishi School, who saw the beauty of their multicultural population of students and brought the idea to the Fairfield Cultural Alliance,” Rusch said. “It fulfills our mission statement to show the beauty of different cultures, especially through their music and knowledge, which the country tables provide.”
There are small prizes for the most beautiful and educational country booths. Attendees can also get a “passport” to be stamped at all the country tables. Lawn games such as baggo and boccie ball will be available.
Volunteers are still needed to set up and take down the stage. In case of rain, the event will be held at the Fairfield Arts & Convention Center’s expo hall.