The 2016 International Festival is coming up in Lawton

The 2016 International Festival is coming up in Lawton

LAWTON, OK (KSWO) – It's almost that time of year again! The 2016 International Festival is coming up in Lawton.

The multicultural, family event will take place on September 23, 24 and 25 at Elmer Thomas Park located at Northwest Ferris Avenue and 3rd Street in Lawton. The festival will begin on Friday, September 23, at 5:00 p.m. and run until 10:00 p.m. The event will continue Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. and Sunday from 12:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. There is no cost for admission.

The International Festival was established in 1979 to promote greater awareness and appreciation of Lawton's diverse heritage. Elizabeth Jones is The International Festival Committee's annual poster design competition winner. Her artwork best represented the festival's mission.  All submissions are on display in the lobby of McMahon Memorial Auditorium until the festival in September.

This year's event will feature over seventy food, sales and display vendors. There will be plenty to do for the whole family. International Festival Committee's Children's Area has free games and activities including the crafting of Chinese masks, USA mats, Mexican paper flowers, and Tahitian headdresses. The children's area will also include hula-hoops, giant bubbles, and the hopping bouncy balls.

Exhibits at the festival include:

  • PSO Interactive Traveling Exhibit
  • Comanche Nation College language and traditional dance
  • Friday at 5:45pm is the Parade of Nations and Opening Ceremony with Naturalization Ceremony on the 2nd Street Stage
  • Friday and Saturday from dusk to 10:00 p.m. is Telescope Star Gazing w/ Hank Poppe
  • Lawton-Ft. Sill Amateur Radio Club
  • Saturday and Sunday there will be Storytelling with Toastmasters International
  • Saturday at 2:30 p.m.  is “Suminagashi, Ancient Art of Japanese Marbling” with the Museum of the Great Plains
  • Volunteer community performing groups
  • Saturday at 6:00 p.m. the 77th US Army Band will perform on the 2nd Street Stage
  • Friday at 8:00 p.m. there will be Watusi, Reggae & World Music on the 2nd Street Stage
  • Saturday at 8:00 p.m. Tequila Azul will perform on the Lake Helen Stage
  • Saturday at 8:00 p.m. is the “Int’l Street Dance w/ DJ” on the 2nd Street Stage
  • Sunday Extreme Animals will be on the 2nd Street Stage
  • ABKA Lionhart Karate-do
  • Lawton Harmony Chorus-Sweet Adelines

For free public parking, enter the park at Northwest Ferris Avenue and 3rd Street. Free Park & Ride Shuttle Service will be available from the McMahon Memorial Auditorium, 801 NW Ferris Avenue, to the festival site and back. The Festival goes on rain or shine and some events may be subject to change without notice. Refrain from bringing pets (only service animals), bicycles, skateboards, drones and alcoholic beverages.

For more information, contact the City of Lawton Arts & Humanities Division at 580-581-3470/3471 or Volunteers are needed.

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