WILLOW STREET, Pa. — A limited budget or scant vacation time doesn’t have to mean a dismal summer. In fact, you can go around the world in just 4 hours at the 24th annual Global Fair on July 13, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Hans Herr House and Museum in Willow Street, Pa.
Eastern Mennonite Missions’ (EMM) international missions and culture event is new and improved! It will still include learning about other cultures, opportunities to talk to mission workers and hear their stories about God at work around the world, delicious international food from a wide variety of countries, and activities for children. But there are also new events and exhibits that are family-friendly, fun, and interactive.
“One new feature is a world stage that will feature a range of entertainment,” said Kaylene Derksen, Development director and member of the events committee. “The always popular Mennonite Children’s Choir of Lancaster will sing international musical selections and the Harrisburg STEP group will give a lively performance. There will be Korean music, drumming, and dancing as well as several other international acts.”
A highlight for children over the years has been the cute and gentle alpacas brought by Eastland Alpacas which will be present again this year. Joining the alpacas will be “residents” from the Nature Center at Black Rock Retreat in Quarryville, Pa., which may include snakes, turtles, and lizards, a rabbit, and a bird. Children will have the opportunity to “earn” free ice cream through a scavenger hunt while they are also learning about the world!
Another change to Global Fair is a different layout. Rather than organizing the fair into geographic regions as in the past, there will be four new areas:
— The lively Global Village will feature workers from around the world and various community organizations.
— The Adventure Zone will have the petting zoo and children’s activities.
— The World Stage will offer entertainment throughout the day.
— The International Food Court will sell food from over a dozen places.
“The food is a favorite part of the fair for many people,” said Derksen. “To be able to enjoy amazing food from East and West Africa, Nepal, Latin America, or Europe in the same location is quite unique! From injera to pinchos to stroopies to hotdogs, you’ll find it at Global Fair!”
“One of the purposes of Global Fair is to promote understanding of other cultures and people,” said Gerry Keener, president of EMM. “The more exposure and knowledge we have of others who may be different from us, the more our worldview expands. This is especially important for children. I believe when there’s more opportunity for appreciation and awareness, it can result in increased kindness and love for one another.”
Parking is free and admission is by donation, which ensures the fair will occur in future years. “It’s a bit of a well-kept secret that visitors to Global Fair may also enjoy the Hans Herr House and Museum and the grounds, including the Native American longhouse without the customary admission fee,” Derksen said.
For more information, visit emm.org/globalfair.