Celebrating the Sights, Sounds and Tastes of over 100 Cultures
Every October, downtown Plano comes alive with the sights, sounds and tastes of over 100 cultures at the Plano International Festival. Filled with food, music, dancing, art, cultural displays, and hands-on learning activities from around the world, it is the largest multicultural festival of its kind in the North Texas area. Special attractions include:
• The area’s only outdoor Naturalization Ceremony where 75 people will become US citizens;
• Fitness and Wellness Fair with free flu shots, health screenings, and fitness demos for the whole family, PLUS on-site mammograms from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Plano; pre-screening is required by calling 214-345-2719;
• Multicultural music and dance performances: Scottish, Chinese, Azetc, belly dancing, Indian, Russian, and more!
• Foreign Film Fundraising event at 4:000 pm at the Courtyard Theater featuring the independent film Simple Notes from South Asia, plus live classical Indian music performances and panel discussion. Held in partnership with Plano Symphony Orchestra and Indie Meme. PSO’s Executive Director Robert Reed is joining the panel as well as several highly regarded local musicians!
• Children’s Workshops with STEAM tent Participants include:
• City of Plano Animal Services • Chain Reaction Robotics, Plano Senior High School • Front Line Youth in Science, Engineering and Technology • “Girls in STEM” Student Organization in PISD • Plano Academy High School Robotics Club • Plano Children’s Theatre • Plano Public Library Puppet Shows • Plano Symphony Orchestra Instrument Petting Zoo • Plano West Red Cross Club • Read Play Love • Re-Crafter by Rebecca Archuleta • Sci-Tech Dicovery Center • TechnicBots • Wize Academy;
• Food trucks! Featuring mouthwatering treats from fried Oreos to kimchi bowls to boba tea and other classic festival fare
• The ever-popular Passports to the World which encourage kids to visit country booths and learn about the language, geography, and other fun facts; sponsored by Rotary Clubs of Plano
• Cultural Booths where visitors can shop for treasures and learn about different cultures through beautiful displays
• Community Booths from local civic and community organizations offering information about their functions and services, including Plano Police and Fire Departments, Plano Animal Rescue, the PISD Council of PTAs with information about the PTA’s mission and the importance of parental involvement in schools, and CHETNA which serves the South Asian community with awareness programs about domestic violence and offers victim assistance
• Educational Waste Stations where visitors can help keep the Festival green and eco-friendly by sorting their trash into organic, recyclable and regular trash. The Festival’s Zero Waste program has earned the City of Plano’s Environmental Star of Excellence Award for the 6th time due to high landfill diversion rates and other sustainability practices
• PLUS: Flag parade, international fashion show, and a Multicultural Art Exhibit at the Courtyard Theater, in partnership with the Plano Art Association
By Linda Adler
Photo by Serge Taran