T he fifth AbbyFest was a great success and a good reflection of the positive attributes of our multicultural community, according to founder Musleh Hakki.
Close to 6,000 people attended the event, with the theme of "Building bridges, bringing communities together," at the Ag-Rec Building on Saturday.
"AbbyFest strives to bring everyone close to each other," said Hakki.
"The more we all work together for the better of the community, the better we can understand and appreciate our different gifts."
The highlight of the show was the parade of nations, led by First Nations and Métis elders, that featured the flags of 65 countries being carried by people in traditional dress, said Hakki.
Young and old enjoyed the continuous entertainment on the main stage that showcased dancers from nations such as Mexico, China, Japan and Ghana, and Bhangra dancers.
The event finished with a lantern festival contingent of 72 school children led by members of the Royal Canadian Legion, followed by a laser light show. The annual event to promote cross-cultural understanding couldn't take place without its loyal volunteer corps, said Hakki.
"We have a team of 200 volunteers who all work diligently and who I'm grateful to," he said.
Efforts are already underway to get next year's AbbyFest organized, he added, saying the work was all worthwhile.
"I enjoy the amicability and sense of friendship and joy among people at AbbyFest whether they are enjoying the entertainment, ethnic food, or sitting at the information booths," said Hakki.
"But the smiles on children's faces is my favourite part."
- See more in Thursday's AbbotsfordMission Times with our Scene in the City feature.