Have you ever seen the beauty of children representing cultures from around the world coming together to share their talents with each other? That and so much more is what you can enjoy at the International Children’s Festival.
In the heart of downtown San Jose organizers found an ideal location for their 7th annual festival of the Bay Area at Discovery Meadow Park. Crowds of visitors flocked from far and wide, one family coming all the way from Reno Nevada, to join the festivities.
There were many attractions to enjoy, the most impressive being on the stage where children of all ages performed. The festival brought together children’s dance groups from the Bay Area representing diverse cultures. There were performers represented over 20 different cultures and came to participate from as far away as LA. Children were dressed to impress decorated in their traditional garments to accompany their artistic demonstrations. Not only was their dancing there was also two martial arts performances by varied ages displaying a variety of maneuvers, as well as nun chuck and sword wielding.
There was even a Mad Science show explaining chemical reactions while making pretend dinosaur snot and pretend spider webs. Notably, the unforgettable magic show featured the magician turning the ingredients of a pizza into a live bunny. Meanwhile, a clown on stilts juggled and made jokes as he moved through the crowd giving high fives that no one could reach -the parents thought it was pretty funny as the kids tried to actually reach him. The clown did eventually bend down for them and the kids surely enjoyed it too.
Some of the other attractions were booths demonstrating art and culture. There was calligraphy, water marbling, instruments, and traditional decorations, as well as a craft table for kids to make their own masterpieces. The festival was complete with the standard favorites, balloon artists, face painting, henna painting, and bouncy houses with obstacle courses. Additionally, a local police detective was there with a chance for children to meet him and his K9 deputy. The San Jose Police Department also had a booth where children could meet and talk with officers and see their vehicle. Not to be missed was the pony rides that the kids were so excited about.
Now let’s not forget the food! There were cultural handmade delicacies that delighted, as well as kids favorites of pistachio and strawberry ice cream, popcorn, and cotton candy. Some favorites with the adults were the Gyros, Kabobs, Manti-a Turkish ravioli type filled pasta, and specialty desserts.
One man commented that the festival was so crowded and enjoyable that he totally lost track of his wife and was looking for her after realizing. One lady was quick to comment on how much she appreciated the diversity on stage and how good it felt to see her culture represented. While discussing with visitors one may quickly realize the favorite attraction of this event is without any contest, the cultural experience of immersing oneself in the flowing river of diversity that is all around us, though not realized on a daily basis, yet the highlight of this celebrated event. Upon leaving this evening having reflected on the gathering of cultures one can’t help but feel a sense of interconnectedness as children, parents, and community members come together sharing while building new understandings and friendships. It is undeniable the sense of hope one may feel while witnessing the bridges of community being built by such events.