As people enjoy international flavors and dance at Blaine’s sixth annual World Fest celebration Saturday, Sept. 21, one resident who has volunteered at each World Fest and countless other community events will be making sure everyone has a good experience.
Gayle Marinac has become well-known at Blaine City Hall since she retired from nursing about seven years ago. She frequently stops by to see what help is needed and has volunteered for the city’s Christmas party, triathlon and youth safety camp. She also is a steady volunteer for the American Red Cross blood drives.
Marinac, who has lived in Blaine for about 50 years, loves each event because each is different, but her favorite part is watching people, especially the kids, react to what is going on.
“It’s just a real nice way to stay active,” she said. “Getting smiles back is the biggest reward I can get.”
At World Fest, Marinac will be greeting people, handing out pamphlets about the food vendors and dance groups and answering questions as they come up.
While she is working, she gets a chance to watch some of the acts.
“The dance routines are just awesome,” she said.
Marinac think it is neat for Blaine to have an event like this, especially because Blaine has become more culturally diverse.
Nate Monahan, parks supervisor, said there are typically five Blaine residents that volunteer at World Fest each year.
“They help make it a quality event and it helps with the costs of coordinating the event,” Monahan said. “They’re great people and they help the event run smoother.”
World Fest offerings
World Fest is Sept. 21 from 1-5 p.m. at Town Square Park, which is located next to Blaine City Hall at 10801 Town Square Drive.
This year’s performers include:
• 1 p.m. Loveworks Academy Drum and Drill Team
• 1:30 p.m. CAAM Chinese Dance Theater
• 2 p.m. Kalpulli Yaocenoxtli (traditional Mexica Aztec Dance & Drum Circle)
• 2:35 p.m. Titambe West African Dance Ensemble
• 3:05 p.m. Fiesta Latina (QC Dance Studio)
• 3:20 p.m. Rene Dance Studio
• 3:55 p.m. Argentine Dance & Tango
• 4:25 p.m. Jawaahir Dance Company (COMPAS Artists)
To come just to watch the performers, there is no charge. But for only $5 people can sample international and American cuisine from multiple local restaurants including Acapulco, Brick’s American Pub, Dixie Blue Bar-B-Que, Dosa King, Hajime, Mei Wei and Umbria Pizza.
Snapple will also be bringing beverages. Target is donating water and Walmart is bring pop, according to Monahan.
There will also be informational booths including the AFS foreign exchange student program, Chinese Heritage Foundation Friends, Phancy Airbrushing and Balloon Art Plus, Anoka County child and teen checkups, Cilongo Foundation, Emma B. Howe Family YMCA Diversity Committee, iAsianlanguage Institute, Hmong Folk Art, Inc. and a Guatemalan exhibit by the Guatemalan Society of Minnesota.
Eric Hagen is at email@example.com