After a challenging 2020, the Bowling Green International Festival will return to Circus Square Park this fall and once again showcase cultures from around the world to thousands of people.
The 31st annual celebration was held virtually last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
While some aspects of this fall’s festival will still be virtual, festival Executive Director Kim Mason said capacity will be limited to 60% as of now. The event will take place Sept. 25 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
“The one nice thing about last year and doing virtual is that people who normally couldn’t attend the event were able to finally do so,” Mason said. “For that reason, we will be carrying on some of the virtual aspects.”
The 2021 Bowling Green International Festival will follow the format of past events, featuring three stages of traditional and modern music and dance performances, authentic foreign foods, an international bazaar and “edu-tainment” activities.
Mason said a COVID-19 Mitigation Plan has been put in place to protect the public and will evolve as circumstances warrant.
Like with the attendance capacity restriction, vendor booth space will also be limited to 60% of past capacity. If CDC and Kentucky guidelines change before September to allow for more vendors, additional booths will be included.
In order to manage crowd size and reduce time in line at the gates, all tickets must be purchased online in advance. Everyone from audience members to volunteers and vendors must have a ticket to enter the site.
Despite the current restrictions, Mason is expecting the celebration to garner another large showing from the community.
She said usually between 10,000 to 15,000 people attend the daylong festival and around 30 different cultures will be represented.
“It’s just a great way for people to be able to learn about their neighbors and where they come from,” Mason said.
The festival is accepting performance applications through its website. Mason said Tuatha Dea and Def Leprechaun will be among the groups taking the stage in 2021.
The board of directors for the celebration is welcoming artists to submit designs for consideration for the 2021 T-shirt.
In addition to the T-shirt design contest, BGIF will hold its annual K-12 poster contest. The contest is judged by staff at the Warren County Attorney’s office, and followers of the Festival’s Facebook page select a people’s choice award from among all the submissions.
The board of directors will also introduce a new logo for this year’s event. The new logo was created by Will Kronenberger of Sublime Media Group.
“My hope is that this new updated logo will continue to help the Bowling Green International Festival spread the message of inclusion and representation for all of the great cultures in our region for years to come,” Kronenberger said in a news release.
The festival will take place rain or shine in the fall. For more information visit www.BGInternationalFest.com or follow the group for updates on social media.