The growing cultural diversity of Cochrane will be on display at the largest-ever Culture Fest this Saturday afternoon (Sept. 9) at the Cochrane Lions Event Centre (CLEC).

Running from 1 to 4 p.m., Kristina Kindree, president of the Cochrane Immigrant Services Committee, says it's a free family event that includes displays, food samples, great music, plus a chance to win door prizes.

She says 19 different countries will be represented, up from 16 last year, and that 10 cultural performances are expected throughout the afternoon.

Among the countries represented are England, the Philippines, Mexico, Syria, Ukraine, Egypt, South Korea, Thailand, India, Peru, Venezuela, Guyana, Argentina, the United States, Ethiopia, Australia, Nigeria, and Nepal.

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Cultural performances are expected from the Philippines, Scotland, Thailand, Punjabi, South India, England, Ukraine, Portugal, Syria, and Mexico.

"I find one of the best parts is the food samples," says Kindree, "because most booths will have their cultural food samples that people can try. The performances are also pretty cool."

Besides information, some of the cultures represented offer activities to enjoy at their booth. For example, she says last year you could try your hand at origami at the Japanese booth.

They'll also share information about their culture and you'll have a chance to put that acquired knowledge to use in the "Travel Logs" available at the registration desk. If you wish, you can answer the questions in the log and submit it for a chance to win door prizes.

Kindree agrees Cochrane's cultural diversity continues to blossom.

"I moved from Calgary to Cochrane about six years ago. Even in the last six years, I have seen a growing number of different cultures and more diversity in Cochrane. It's actually growing quite rapidly, I find."

Last year's event attracted upwards of 700 people.

"I think it's a great event to allow people to have an opportunity to experience different cultures in Cochrane and it's a win-win situation," she says. "The cultural representatives love to promote their culture and the people of Cochrane also enjoy the event."

Culture Fest is one of two special events this weekend to celebrate Alberta Culture Days.

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culture days