France will be celebrated this year as the Host Country of the 35th annual Ethnic Expo presented by First Financial Bank in downtown Columbus. The two-day festival, which fosters understanding and an appreciation of Columbus’s diverse population, will take place on October 12th and 13th outside Columbus City Hall.
Columbus Indiana Accueil will be the leading group to represent France along with Faurecia. As host country, the cultures and foods of France will be featured in the new Host Country Corner located at the dead end past the intersection of First and Washington Street. This year, the Host Country Corner will replicate a guinguette. Guinguettes, riverside pavilions offering food, wine, music and dancing, have been a part of French culture for centuries. France will also be celebrated in the Ethnic Expo Parade.
Along with France, Ethnic Expo vendors typically represent more than 30 countries. There is still time to apply. The application deadline for International Food and Bazaar vendors is Friday, August 31st. Applications, rules and regulations may be found under “Get Involved.”
Individuals, families, schools, veterans, neighborhood groups and community organizations are all invited to participate in the Ethnic Expo Parade as well. The deadline to sign up for the parade is Friday, September 21st. It is free to enter. The parade will begin at 11 am on October 13th and end in time to enjoy lunch at the festival. Entries must be staged at 10 am to be considered for judging for the six parade award categories. The application, rules, and regulations may also be found under “Get Involved.”
Ethnic Expo is organized by the City of Columbus and is made possible by generous donations from the presenting sponsor, First Financial, for the ninth year in a row, and other sponsors including Coca-Cola, Vectren Foundation, ERMCO Electric and Milestone. This activity is also made possible, in part, with support from the Indiana Arts Commission, the Columbus Area Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.
“First Financial is proud to be a part of the Columbus community. We are honored to participate again in the annual Ethnic Expo, which focuses on gathering together to showcase our hometown’s diverse culture and heritage,” said Al Roszczyk, Regional President for First Financial Bank. “First Financial is proud to be the title sponsor for the ninth year and our team looks forward to celebrating with the community this October.”
“Please join the City of Columbus in celebrating our bountiful cultures and heritages from around the world. Congratulations to France for serving as this year’s Host Country. The City of Columbus is honored to work alongside our French community and we look forward to experiencing their customs and traditions,” said Mayor Jim Lienhoop.
For more information regarding Ethnic Expo activities or how you can be involved, please visit www.ethnicexpo.org or contact Katherine Dunn, Community Development Project Specialist for the City of Columbus, at (812) 376-2520.