Fresh CultureFest in Springfield returns with record number of vendors

Following a two year-hiatus, the event that shows how unique the makeup of the Springfield community is and celebrates those differences and similarities will return.

With the theme of “Here Comes the Sun,” CultureFest 2022 will have a record number of vendors and reflect the area’s diversity. It takes place from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. today in downtown Springfield, and admission is free.

It is presented by the City of Springfield Community Development Department with neighborhood and organizational partners.

Springfield has numerous festivals throughout the year, but CultureFest has what is likely the most diverse in terms of vendors, food selection and entertainment. Cancelled the past two years out of caution during the pandemic and replaced with CultureRead, this year brings a fresh feel along with maintaining what makes it a special event.

“This event has been a staple of Springfield for 24 years and we’re excited to come back in a big way,” said Aaron Clark, who is helping coordinate the event.

One big move is an expansion from City Hall Plaza to include parts of Fountain Ave. up through about the median near the Courtyard by Marriott and COHatch. Parts of Fountain and High Street will be closed to traffic during the event.

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“This opens up more possibilities and for more vendors to join. It offers a street-fair feel with more opportunities,” Clark said.

A record 85 merchants, information tables and food vendors will be involved. Many of the food trucks will be set up in the lot by the State Theater building and vendors will line the other side of the street.

There will be 17 live acts including high school bands, Egyptian dancers, German music and gospel music. A brand new addition this year is circus entertainment that will be 1:30-5:30 p.m. and included juggling, a tight rope walker, German wheel and stilt walker.

The kids area will have cultural activities including French and Chinese-themed ones along with balloon artists, face painting and kindness rock painting and other artistic opportunities.

A grassy knoll area will feature five fitness activities taught by local instructors that attendees can participate in.

The CultureFest tradition will continue the namesake of various cultures participating including representatives of the Haitian community for the first time.

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Clark said the “Here comes the sun” theme represents CultureFest and is especially appropriate this year when it comes back in a big way. And with a lot of people asking when it was coming back, this is the time to shine.

“We just want people to come out and enjoy this day, which is usually filled with a lot of sunshine,” he said.

The complete lineup of vendors, entertainers, activities and a map of the festival sight is available at springfieldohio.gov/culturefest/.

Free parking will be available at Clark State College, the Heritage Center of Clark County, Courtyard by Marriott and the Park at 99 parking garage.


HOW TO GO

What: CultureFest 2022

Where: Springfield City Hall Plaza, 76 East High Street

When: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. today

Admission: free

More info: springfieldohio.gov/culturefest

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