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Contact(s):Scott Carter
501-371-4421

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE :
Wednesday, September 17, 2008

LITTLE ROCK PREPARES TO CELEBRATE DIVERSITY, ENVIRONMENT AT WORLDFEST 2008

2008 WORLDFEST SET FOR SEPTEMBER 26 & 27


(Little Rock AR – Wednesday, September 17, 2007) – The City of Little Rock’s annual WorldFest returns this year with the theme “Diversity and Environmental Education for Everyone.” The two day festival will take place on Friday, September 26, 2008, and Saturday, September 27, 2008 in the William J. Clinton Presidential Park. The activities, sponsored by the City’s Racial and Cultural Diversity Commission (RCDC), will run from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm each day.

These plans were announced this morning at Little Rock City Hall by Mayor Mark Stodola, WorldFest co-chairs Dr. Dennis Burrow and Mary Parham, and City Manager Bruce T. Moore.

“WorldFest returns for another year and it is bigger and better than ever,” said Mayor Stodola. The Mayor noted that WorldFest will feature over 50 booths of activities and information, live music, crafts, demonstrations, a Global Village and food. A highlight on Friday will be the Parade of Nations featuring school children from throughout the state.

Other features of WorldFest 2008 include the Nickelodeon World Day of Play interactive area on Saturday the 27th as well as a health and safety initiative sponsored by the Governor’s Office. Local, state, and national agencies will set-up booth for health screenings and information on disease prevention such as diabetes, various cancers, and heart disease, as well as water safety.

There will be two stages of continuous world entertainment throughout the two days of the festival. Performers will include local and regional music and dance representing the many different cultures of Arkansas from Latin America to Africa to Asia.

There will be a WorldFest kick-off celebration on Thursday, September 25, from 4:45pm to 7:30pm in the River Market. According to Parham, it will feature officials from the City of Little Rock and the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Parkview High School ROTC Color Guard, performances by the Parkview Band and High-Steppers, and “food, fun, and friends.”

Sponsors for WorldFest 2008 include the City of Little Rock, Heifer International, Alltel, the Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau, Toyota, Fox 16 and Arkansas CW, the Arkansas Department of Education, Benda’s Portable, Bank of America, UALR, and Comcast.

WorldFest was created in 1995 by the City of Little Rock’s Racial and Cultural Diversity Commission. It celebrates the different races and cultures that exist here in Little Rock through educational activities, entertainment, and tastes from around the world. In 2006, the festival was named 1st place recipient of the National League of Cities Cultural Diversity Award. According to WorldFest organizers, there has been, on average, a 38% increase in attendance each year for the past several years.

In conjunction with WorldFest, City Year Little Rock/North Little Rock will hold its Opening Day ceremony at 11 am on the grounds of the State Capitol. Following the conclusion of that event, City Year corps members and other volunteers will host a Day of Service at WorldFest 2008 in Clinton Presidential Park.

“WorldFest is a great place for families. Each year, we have people from a variety of ages, races and ethnic backgrounds. It is great to see various races, ages, and backgrounds all interacting and having fun and there is no admission charge,” said Dr. Burrow. “What a better way to spend the day?”

According to Parham, visitors to WorldFest are encouraged to bring a canned food, or non-perishable food item. These will be collected and donated to the Arkansas Foodbank Network.

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