LAWTON, OK (KSWO)- Crews with the City of Lawton are gearing up for a weekend full of diversity.
They're getting ready for the 38th International Festival.
The 3-day event will take place at Elmer Thomas Park starting Friday.
Nearly 30,000 people are expected to come out and enjoy a weekend filled with fun activities, live music and plenty of food that showcase various cultures and backgrounds.
Cheatwood said that is their hope for the weekend---to bring people in the community together and welcome some new faces.
"We have many people that will drive in,” said Cheatwood. “This is a really special event for them. They'll come back each year as part of a family tradition."
The event will feature over 60 food and sales vendors and over 20 live performances for all visitors to enjoy.
That's what Cheatwood believes is an important part of the festival.
"It's a super opportunity for people to see others from native culture and different countries perform that perhaps they've never seen before,” said Cheatwood.
Despite plenty of fun activities for kids and families to take part in, Cheatwood said the goal remains the same as when they first started in 1979---to promote a greater awareness and appreciation of Lawton's diverse heritage.
"Mom and Dad and the kiddos can come out and enjoy the day, see the sights and also meet their neighbors,” said Cheatwood. “It's time to meet other community members and perhaps someone who is new to our community will find a group that they'd like to be a part of as well."
The festival is free and open to the public.