“It was nice to see a lot of new faces attending the event last year,” said Councilman John Drayman, chairman of the event’s planning committee for the second year. “So we hope to capitalize on the best of last year and repeat and grow.”
For a city known for its expanding minority populations in recent decades — including the largest population of Armenians outside of Armenia — city officials said the event serves to bring the community together in a comfortable setting.
Drayman said he would like to see more city events downtown because they bring thousands of people to the downtown retail district and showcase the historical area.
The festival features cultural entertainment, including Korean drums and dance, the Hamazkayin Niari Group Armenian Dance and a Celtic band, among others.
For the first time, dancers from Glendale’s sister city Rosarito Beach, Mexico, will be performing at Unity Fest.
“Glendale does a lot for Rosarito, so they felt compelled to help us out,” said Efrain Olivares, president of the Glendale-Mexico Sister City Assn.
Performers will also include students from Hoover and Glendale high schools and private Holy Family High.
“We’ve never really had this at Unity Fest,” said Zizette Mullins, community relations coordinator with the city. “It’s really exciting for us to have the students.”
Other features from last year’s event will return including a children’s section with a petting zoo, climbing wall and pony rides — all free.
Parking will also be available for free in the Orange Street Garage, 222 N. Orange St.
Vendors will also be selling a wide range of foods and arts and crafts alongside vendors from the Montrose Shopping Park’s weekly “Harvest Market.”