April 22, 2005
Gilbert is going global. Growing from a collective vision of city advisory boards and volunteers, the Global Village Festival, which will be held Saturday, with all seven continents represented through a variety of ethnic performance stages, a handson children’s area and independent arts and crafts displays.
Kimberly Grace, Gilbert Cultural Arts coordinator, says volunteerism has been key in this festival coming together. Community groups outside Gilbert have showed support by donating items to the festival: Tempe Sister Cities loaned flags and costumes.
"A year ago it started as just a Hispanic event," says Grace, but now the focus is learning about different cultures. Merchandise from Thailand and Africa, food from China and Greece, an Australian rules football clinic, Irish step dancers and a nationally recognized hoop dancer are scheduled to take part.
Gilbert Mayor Steve Berman will open the festival as he walks in the Parade of Nations. Other institutions taking part in the Global Village Festival include Arizona Museum for Youth, the Arizona Science Museum and the Phoenix Zoo, the latter bringing animals from Australia.
"The community has jumped right into this event," says Grace. "We don’t know what to expect in terms of numbers."
If you go
What: Gilbert Global Village Festival When: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday Where: Gilbert North Civic Center Campus, 50 E. Civic Center Drive Cost: Free Information: (480) 503-6895 or www.ci.gilbert.az.us/arts/ global-festival.cfm