The City of Grande Prairie was out in full force to support the first-ever Filipino Musical & Cultural Heritage Festival.
After planning the event for about two years now, President of the Filipino Association of Grande Prairie and Area Neil Tuazon says he couldn’t believe how many people attended the inaugural event at Muskoseepi Park.
“We never expected the acceptance. We feel this is a great event that we created for our community. The Filipino Association of Grande Prairie loves to host events like this. We are absolutely thrilled with the turnout,” he explains.
“I’ve never seen the community like that. People were dancing, dancing to the music, and singing the songs played by the bands. We had visitors coming in from Edmonton, Calgary, and Banff.”
Tuazon says that they weren’t able to get a hard headcount, but he’s thinking 1,000 people came out.
“I know I could count at least 700 people. We made about 1,000 wristbands for entry into the festival. I only saw a couple remaining when we wrapped things up.”
A big part of the festivities was the award-winning Karilagan Dance Society, performing different Filipino cultural dances for the audience.
“They absolutely loved coming to Grande Prairie. They stayed in our hotels, they went to the mall, they enjoyed our restaurants. They told me they’d love to be a part of the festival next year,” he says.
With the resounding success of the festival, Tuazon is looking ahead to next year.
“Yeah, we’ll see about having it for two days next year. We’ll see if I still have the energy to do it,” he laughs.
Grande Prairie – Wapiti MLA Travis Toews and his wife, Kim, Mayor Jackie Clayton, councillors Chris Thiessen, and Kevin O’Toole all attended the event on Sunday, which ran from noon until just after 6 p.m.