ELPO sponsors Bowling Green International Festival
by Mandy Hicks
The Bowling Green International Festival is an annual event featuring and celebrating Bowling Green’s many different cultures. This year’s festival, held on September 30, was a highly successful effort, buoyed by lots of volunteer effort and great weather. This was the 27th year for the Festival, which was held in Circus Square Park in downtown Bowling Green.
The Festival included booths, artists and musicians from many different cultures, including several groups housed at Western Kentucky University. Ethnic foods, traditions and music take center stage. ELPO sponsored this year’s International Festival because the firm supports and honors the rich diversity of Bowling Green, says Bob Young, Managing Partner of ELPO. “The International Festival is a wonderful opportunity for local residents to experience the incredible array of cultures that have come to live in South Central Kentucky,” Bob says. “We welcome the many different people, countries, and traditions, and hope each will feel at home and prosper in our community.”
As part of ELPO’s celebration of these cultures, the firm sold a T-shirt at the Festival that features world flags. Proceeds from the sale of the shirts were donated to the International Center of Kentucky, which offers refugee and immigrant services.
History of Bowling Green International Festival
The International Festival grew out the 1986 Ethnic Folk Festival, sponsored by the Bowling Green Human Rights Commission and Bowling Green/Warren County NAACP and the 1988 JapanFest, sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce. In 1989, the Bowling Green Human Rights Commission and the Chamber of Commerce joined forces to produce Bowling Green’s first International Festival in Fountain Square Park.
The first three festivals were held on Memorial Day. It is now held the last Saturday each September. The festival has dramatically increased the number and variety of performances it offers and attendance has grown to more than 15,000 making it one of the region’s premier events.
Next year’s Festival is set for Saturday, September 29, 2018. For more information, visit the Festival’s web site.