2nd annual Cove multicultural festival scheduled for Oct. 5

Special to Leader-Press

Copperas Cove hosts its second annual multicultural festival on Saturday to boost tourism and accommodate the growing cultural diversity in the community. The event, which welcomes more than 30 vendors with cultural food and authentic cultural items for sale, is scheduled Oct. 5 at Ogle Tree Gap Preserve.
Ms. Five Hills Lorianne Valois is chairing the event this year that is free to the public.   
“Killeen and Harker Heights both host multi-cultural festivals with Killeen’s event running three days. Copperas Cove needs a multicultural festival as well to serve not only as a tourist event that brings money into our city but to also expand the cultural knowledge of our citizens and build a further appreciation for diversity,” Valois told the Copperas Cove Rotary Club recently.   
Copperas Cove’s inaugural multicultural festival not only raised money for student scholarships but experienced an estimated attendance of 500-800 people.   
Valois also shared statistics demonstrating the growth of cultural diversity in Copperas Cove using information from the U.S. Census Bureau and Copperas Cove ISD.
“As new families move into Cove, you can see the cultural diversity increasing,” Coombs said.  “In the 2017-2018 school year, 42 percent of the students were white, 17 percent black, Hispanic students up to 27 percent, mixed races comprise a tenth of CCISD’s population with the remaining three percent being other races.”
Valois and the Copperas Cove Five Hills royalty have attended several cultural events in the surrounding cities over the past six months to help advertise the event and gain awareness in the region.  Entertainment with various cultural dance groups is scheduled from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. One of the highlights of the event is the parade of nations at noon including Mayor Bradi Diaz and representatives from more than a dozen countries wearing their cultural clothing.
 The festival is free to the public, but all proceeds received from vendor registrations will be donated to Hope Mommies of Central Texas and used to create Hope Boxes to donate to hospitals in Killeen and Gatesville. Hope Mommies is a nonprofit organization support for women and families that have experienced infant loss, sharing the hope of Jesus Christ and creating a network of support to help with emotional, spiritual, and physical needs of a grieving family,” said Valois who lost her son, Brady, only seven hours after is birth.
“Spreading the word of Hope Mommies will also allow for the Central Texas chapter to grow and spread monthly hope gatherings throughout Copperas Cove and Killeen,” Valois said.  
Vendors interested in setting up at the Copperas Cove Multicultural Festival may apply online at Eventbrite, the Five Hills Pageant Facebook page, or email fivehillspageant@gmail.com.

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