News Column

Festival at Circus Square Park brings international flavor to Bowling Green [Daily News (Bowling Green, KY)]

September 26, 2013

YellowBrix

Ting-Hui Lee had a good time at the Bowling Green International Festival last year as part of the Western Kentucky University Chinese Music Club. She is looking forward to having fun at this weekend's festival.

"It's a good place to show and tell people what Chinese music is all about. We have a booth and a performance," said Lee, a visiting assistant professor of physics and astronomy at WKU. "We talk about Chinese culture. We talk to all different kinds of people. Most of them have never seen those instruments before, and we are happy to share."

The Bowling Green International Festival - which this year has the theme "Games Around the World" - will be from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday at Circus Square Park. Admission is $4 and free for children ages 12 and under. People who buy a restaurant discount card at the gate can get $5 admission for two people. The cards offer a 10 percent discount at 31 restaurants. For a complete list of festival activities, visit bginternationalfest.com.

The festival, which celebrates Bowling Green's cultural diversity, has plenty to offer, Executive Director Kim Mason said.

"There are three stages, as we've had in the past," she said. "We have a mix of music and dance, most of which are traditional. We also have hybrids."

Some of the new bands include Appalatin, which plays Latin-infused roots music, and the Celtic band The Bold O'Donohughs. A travel guide replaces the passport booklets used to gather stickers from other countries.

"It's a smaller book with mostly blank pages," Mason said. "They can get stickers or have vendors write their name in different languages. It's more of a scrapbook."

Activities for children will include a drum circle led by McClinin "Mac" Gray.

Adults are also welcome.

"He gives a rhythm lesson, and they play together," Mason said.

Feckless Fear Dearg will make its second appearance at this year's festival. The Celtic band started a little more than a year ago and has become renowned enough to perform at big festivals across the country, but the members enjoy being at the local festival.

"Doing the International Festival is really important to us because it is where we started," said Zach Daugherty, who sings lead vocals and plays guitar and banjo with the band.

The band will have an informal jam in the Celtic Nation area of the festival with other Celtic bands.

"People can come talk to us," Daugherty said. "That's something we look forward to doing."

Daugherty enjoys the educational aspect of the festival.

"We are able to be amongst the crowd and interact a whole lot and explain ... why we do it and about the heritage," he said. "It's also a very local thing because Bowling Green has a very diverse population. It's good to celebrate that."

The WKU Chinese Music Club meets from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Sundays at WKU's Helm Library. The club is open to anyone who is interested, even those who have no music background. The club is free.

-- Alyssa Harvey covers features for the Daily News. Follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/bgdnfeatures or visit bgdailynews.com.

Credit: By ALYSSA HARVEY The Daily News aharvey@bgdailynews.com /783-3257

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