2017 International Festival NEWS!

2017 International Festival poster

Press Release 

Lawton’s International Festival Set for September 22, 23 & 24

(Lawton, OK) The lnternational Festival, in Elmer Thomas Park will open 5pm on Friday, September 22nd. At 5:45pm, the Parade of Nations kicks off the Opening Ceremony on the 2nd Street Stage. There is no attendance fee or parking fee to attend this 3-day event, not even for the stages.

The Lawton Arts & Humanities Council and the International Festival Committee are excited to announce that they will again host a Naturalization Ceremony during the opening ceremony where residents representing different countries will take the Oath of Allegiance and be sworn in as US Citizens. The festival hours are Friday 5pm to 10pm, Saturday 11am to 10pm, and Sunday 12 noon to 5pm. As a means of highlighting an appreciation of heritage and culture, all patrons, volunteers, sponsors and vendors are invited to wear their traditional dress and regalia to the festival. There will be over 60 food, sales and display booths this year. Festival patrons will have many entertainment choices throughout the three days.

 

FREE ENTERTAINMENT

 The International Festival Committee is pleased to announce that the following community performers are volunteering their time and returning to the festival: ABKA Lionheart Karate, Aislinn & The Snake River Gang, Cameron University Pan Express, Crosstowne Groove Band, Filipino-American Association of Lawton/Fort Sill, Galilee Missionary Baptist Church Choir w/ band, Good Friends & Dulcimers, International Group, Island Paradise, Kealii’s Polynesian Spectacular, Kickers of Lawton, Lawton Harmony Chorus - Sweet Adelines, Mexican Folkloric Dancers, Oceano Salsa Club, Raices, Southwest Pride Barbershop Chorus, and TCC Cloggers. The 77th U.S. Army Band’s Boss Man Jazz Ensemble performs courtesy of the Fires Center of Excellence.

 

Tequila Azul, Friday, September 22, 8pm, 2nd Street Stage (South)

Tequila Azul is the first Latin Pop Rock group in Oklahoma. They perform across Oklahoma and surrounding states at different events such as cultural festivals, Arts Council events, clubs, private parties, business events and more. Tequila Azul will have everyone dancing. On the Oklahoma Arts Council Touring Roster, this high energy band has performed for special events such as Calle Dos Cinco in Historic Capitol Hill as well as Plaza Mayor at the Crossroads’ Cinco de Mayo, Visit them on Facebook and at www.enyemusic.com/tequila-azul-1

 

Oklahoma Fancy Dancers, Saturday, September 23, 8pm, Lake Helen Stage (North)

Oklahoma Fancy Dancers are a group of powwow champions that come together to form a professional and highly acclaimed Native American dance troupe. The award-winning dance regalia worn by each dancer is brilliantly colorful, traditional and representative of the dancer's tribe and dance performed. The performance will include history, stories, music, songs, instruments, specialty dances and interactive social dancing. Visit their Facebook site at Oklahoma Fancy Dancers: Native Dance Troupe.

 

International Festival Committee’s Street Dance, Saturday, September 23, 8pm, 2nd Street Stage (South)

The International Festival Committee is bringing back the popular “Street Dance”, Saturday, September 23 at 8pm on the 2nd Street Stage (South). The street dance’s DJ will present many musical genres from around the world. This very popular event plays host to all ages.

 

Teresa Black, Saturday, September 23, 1pm, Interactive Area

Teresa Black, singer, musician and story teller returns to the festival. Her performances are truly interactive with patrons. She is a member of the Oklahoma Territorial Tellers, an organization that offers opportunities to learn the art of storytelling by presenting concerts, conducting workshops and providing information at professional conferences and local and regional events.

 

Keith Coast, Sunday, September 24, 2pm, 2nd Street Stage (South)

The International Festival is a stop on Keith Coast’s “2017 Coast to Coast Tour”! The comedy of Keith Coast uses a blend of illusions, balloons, and more! The intent of his show is to have fun, encourage, and make people laugh 'till it hurts! His family-style humor reaches a broad spectrum of ages, from the grandkids to the grandparents. Originally based out of Oklahoma, Keith Coast travels full time across North America with his family. Visit www.keithcoast.com or on Facebook.

 

Interactive Area

The Interactive Area at the Garden Pavilion will have the MacArthur High School Band’s Color Guard on Friday, Telescope Star Gazing with Hank Poppe (clouds permitting) Friday and Saturday at dusk. On Saturday, the Museum of the Great Plains will present the Ancient Art of Suminagashi, Japanese Marbling at 2:30pm. Kickers of Lawton will also be providing dance demonstrations during the festival at 3:45pm on Saturday and 2pm on Sunday!

 

Interactive Festival Committee’s Children’s Area

There will be free activities for the young patrons in this area Saturday and Sunday. Molly Buckley, Chair of the Children’s Area notes that she will have the following and a lot more! International Festival Committee’s Children's Area w/ free games & activities: Sat., 11am–6pm & Sun., 12Noon-5pm Sun: includes Chinese masks, USA mats, Mexican paper flowers, and Tahitian headdresses. Other activities outside the tent include hula-hoops, giant bubbles, and the hopping bouncy balls.

 

Major Sponsors of the 2017 International Festival are the City of Lawton, Lawton Arts & Humanities Council and its lnternational Festival Committee, Oklahoma Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts, McMahon Foundation, and Funding and/or Support of this event is partially provided by the Lawton Fort Sill Convention and Visitors Bureau Hotel/Motel Tax Fund. In addition, media sponsors of the event include Magic 95, 95.3FM, Hot Country 973FM, Sooner Classic Hits FM, The Lawton Constitution, Townsquare Media Lawton with KLAW 101, Z94, and 107.3 POPCRUSH, KCCU – FM, KSWO-TV, The Breeze, 95.5FM, Lawtoninfo.com and Perry Publishing & Broadcasting Company (KJMZ, KKRX, KXCA, KACO, KKND & KDDQ).

 

GENERAL INFORMATION – FREE SHUTTLE SERVICE

For public parking, enter the park at 3rd & NW Ferris Avenue. Free shuttle service will be provided during the following hours from the McMahon Memorial Auditorium parking lot, 801 NW Ferris Ave. to the festival site.

Friday, September 22, 5:30 - 10pm

Saturday, September 23, 12noon - 10pm

Sunday, September 24, 12:30 - 5pm

Please note that the festival will go on rain or shine and some events may be subject to change without notice. For all events and locations on the festival grounds, the festival committee respectfully requests that all visitors refrain from bringing pets (only service animals), bicycles, skateboards, drones and alcoholic beverages. Call 58l-3470 or 58I-347I for more information or visit the website www.lawtonok.gov.

 

FESTIVAL VOLUNTEERS NEEDED

Besides having fun, volunteering offers opportunities to meet new people, gain valuable experience for resumes or college applications, provides community visibility for organizations or businesses as well as great bonding experience for families and groups.

 

For more information, call the Arts & Humanities Division at 581-3470 or 581-3471. Visit the websites www.lawtonok.gov as well as the International Festival on Facebook.

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