The Bowling Green International Festival will continue its 27-year tradition of celebrating, educating and promoting ethnic and cultural diversity Sept. 24 at Circus Square Park, rain or shine.

Information booths will open at 7:30 a.m. with vendors open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The event will be filled with music, dance, demonstrations, foreign foods, educational and entertaining activities, cultural displays and an international bazaar. Admission is $4 with children ages 12 and under receiving free admission. Attendees can use a festival Restaurant Discount Card that they can get at Mellow Matt's Music & More, 1200 Smallhouse Road, or use an online coupon that can be found at bginternationalfest.com to get two people admitted for $5.

Bowling Green International Festival board member Hannah Barahona said there will be more than 160 booths that have different cultural displays, foreign foods and merchandise. She said the event is fun but also educational.

"There's nothing else like it near here," Barahona said. "We offer an opportunity for our international residents to be empowered and share the highlights of their culture. They really don't have another opportunity to do that."

Executive Director Kim Mason said there are a lot of interesting things going on with family activities such as the pinata burst every hour, crafts and other interactive activities such as the travel guide.

"This was actually always my family's favorite event to go to and they particularly liked the travel guides because you can go to the booths and collect stickers and the kids would try to get every single one," Mason said.

Festival organizers are starting to promote two new artistic events, which will be a a T-shirt design contest and a short movie contest. The iShorts contest participants will be asked to create a video less than 5 minutes long that considers the question, "What does the international community mean to you?" Details for all contests are available at bginternationalfest.com or people may visit the festival information booth Sept. 24 to learn more.

Barahona said board members and organizers thought the new contests would be a good thing to incorporate into the festival and it branches off its mission of celebrating international culture in the community. She said there are still ways to participate in the festival by getting a booth space, volunteering or performing. There will be three stages that will have performances all day long.

"It's a fun and interesting, good time and something you can do with the whole family," Mason said.

— For more information, visit bginternationalfest.com or call 270-779-3830.

— Follow faith/general assignments reporter Simone C. Payne on Twitter @_SimonePayne or visit bgdailynews.com.

Simone Payne is the faith and general assignments reporter for the Bowling Green Daily News. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in English writing from Western Kentucky University in 2010 and is currently completing her Master of Arts degree.

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