CultureFest to return in September to Springfield’s downtown

A Chinese dragon dances through the crowd at CultureFest in 2017 in downtown Springfield. Bill Lackey/Staff

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A Chinese dragon dances through the crowd at CultureFest in 2017 in downtown Springfield. Bill Lackey/Staff

CultureFest, Springfield’s annual festival celebrating unity through diversity, will return on Sept. 17 after a two-year hiatus brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year, the festival will expand beyond the City Plaza — the location of past CultureFest celebrations — and organizers are working to secure some new features for the public’s enjoyment, according to a city press release.

Culture will span from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. this year. Admission is free.

“People share culture in so many ways– heritage, fashion, cuisine, and entertainment. CultureFest brings all of what is beautiful, unique, and diverse about culture in Springfield into one event,” said Aaron Clark, Neighborhood Planning Coordinator, City of Springfield Community Development Department.

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Beatriz Koehler dances to the music of the mariachi band Zelaya at CultureFest in downtown Springfield. Bill Lackey/Staff

Beatriz Koehler dances to the music of the mariachi band Zelaya at CultureFest in downtown Springfield. Bill Lackey/Staff

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Beatriz Koehler dances to the music of the mariachi band Zelaya at CultureFest in downtown Springfield. Bill Lackey/Staff

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Traditional attractions will return, including dance and music entertainment, children’s activities, food court featuring international and American cuisine and merchandise and information vendors.

CultureFest is supported through donations from individuals and organizations. The annual celebration is a collaborative effort between the City of Springfield Community Development Department with neighborhood and organizational partners, according to the city.

Downtown parking will be available at Clark State College, Courtyard by Marriott, The Heritage Center and Park at the 99 parking garage.

The festival was canceled in 2020 for safety reasons due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The occasion was instead observed with CultureRead, a community initiative that invited participants to choose a book from a reading list, then engage in discussions.

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