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Sukh Johal Does VISAFF 2014!

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WATCH: Sukh Johal Visits The Vancouver International South Asian Film Festival

Lights, Camera, Action!

Last week the Vancouver International South Asian Film Festival held it’s first annual networking event with some of Metro Vancouver’s hottest online, film / television actors/actresses, producers and creative minds at the Djavad Mowafaghian World Art Centre, SFU Woodwards in Vancouver. The event was primarily sponsored by the Canada India Business Council, with other local sponsors including Surrey604. The evening was hosted by actress and model Mannu Sandhu.

SFU's Djavad Mowafaghian World Art Centre was centre stage for VISAFF 2014.
SFU’s Djavad Mowafaghian World Art Centre was centre stage for VISAFF 2014.

The evening started off by showcasing productions in short films by local talent and then transitioned into a panel discussion with some of the local industry’s leading experts. The panelists, who were moderated by Sharad Khare, CEO of Khare Communications, spoke on all sorts of challenges and strategies about bringing new talent to the forefront in the so-called ‘mainstream’ media. They spoke about funding, collaborations and challenges of the industry.

Once the floor opened up that’s when the stars came out. Actors and Actresses who have graced the screens of Hollywood, Bollywood and local film and television productions were all there to share their experiences on battles won and endured during their years in the business.

From stereotypical roles like taxi drivers and corner store owners to less popular but more attractive roles like scientists and doctors… the role of actors/actresses of Indian descent is changing… with the emergence of the online community and YouTube, VISAFF is hoping to be a game changer. From Hollywood North to Bollywood West, there is definitely something there….

Geographically Vancouver seems like the perfect backdrop for the emergence of this new world where entertainment drives social change and produces some of the most creative talent in the world. The fusion of cross cultural sharing and interfaith understanding has created an environment where collaborations, mentorship and fusion are the keys to a thriving new economy in the heart of the Asian Pacific Gateway region on the Pacific.

Metro Vancouver could become home to a new type of film industry – a fusion of Hollywood North and Bollywood West – home to some of the best and most attractive and scenic locations in the nation where streets are filmed as New York and Los Angeles, and studios are used to build monstrous sets showcasing earthquakes and car chases. It’s no secret that time zones and access to experienced production crews in Vancouver are also a factor.

If this new breed of entertainment is to happen in the west, some heavy players with the right political clout, charisma and will need to step up to the plate. Before that happens, we need a new flavour of entertainment where pop culture, creative art and a push for social change accelerate the need for film and music. Film has the power to drive real change. Partners from different industries can bring not only social change but they can bring together nations. There was a distinct synergy among those I met at the VISAFF 2014 Networking Event. We’ve got something fresh and new for you in the west!

Pictured here are (L-R) Surrey604's Sukh Johal, Actress Balinder Johal, VISAFF Executive Director, Model/Actress Mannu Sandhu, Actor/Comedian Sunee Dhaliwal, Actress Nimet Kanji.
Pictured here are (L-R) Surrey604’s Sukh Johal, Actress Balinder Johal, VISAFF Executive Director, Model/Actress Mannu Sandhu, Actor/Comedian Sunee Dhaliwal, Actress Nimet Kanji.

It was an action packed evening at the VISAFF 2014 networking event.
It was an action packed evening at the VISAFF 2014 networking event.

Casting director Judy Lee, Women in Film and Television
Casting director Judy Lee, Women in Film and Television”s President Carleen Kyle and Entertainment Lawyer Kim Roberts were part of an all-star expert panel.

The stars were out at VISAFF 2014 bringing together actors, actresses and producers.
The stars were out at VISAFF 2014 bringing together actors, actresses and producers.

Film producer, VISAFF Board member and Crazy8s Executive Director Paul Armstrong spoke about funding in the world of film and television.
Film producer, VISAFF Board member and Crazy8s Executive Director Paul Armstrong spoke about funding in the world of film and television.

Sharad Khare shared some of his own challenges and experiences in the creative world.
Sharad Khare shared some of his own challenges and experiences in the creative world.

Actor, Comedian and YouTube spoof star Arkie Kandola was ecstatic to win an autographed picture of Bollywood Star Saif Ali Khan.
Actor, Comedian and YouTube spoof star Arkie Kandola was ecstatic to win an autographed picture of Bollywood Star Saif Ali Khan.

Sharad Khare, CEO of Kharé Communications was the Moderator for the VISAFF 2014 film industry expert panel.
Sharad Khare, CEO of Kharé Communications was the Moderator for the VISAFF 2014 film industry expert panel.

The Participants were in full force as renowned local producer Kamal Sharma talks film with some creative minds.
The Participants were in full force as renowned local producer Kamal Sharma talks film with some creative minds.

VISAFF was sponsored by the Canada India Business Council.
VISAFF was sponsored by the Canada India Business Council.

Here is a brief backgrounder on the panelists.

Kim Roberts- Producer/ Entertainment Lawyer with Sephia Films
Kim C. Roberts brings over two decades of entertainment law experience to Sepia Films, having provided legal advice on a wide range of film and television projects through his law firm Roberts & Stahl. At Sepia, Roberts oversees co-productions, production financing, contract negotiations, E&O insurance and tax credits for Canadian and foreign productions and certification for Canadian productions, as well as all aspects of production legal.

Carleen Kyle- President of Woman in Film and Television
As writer/director Carleen Kyle’s 2012 Crazy 8s winning short ‘The Weather Girl’ has been an official selection at many film and comedy festivals across North America. In addition to winning three Leo nominations: Best Screenplay, Best Performance by a Female (Johannah Newmarch) and Best Editor (Gordon Rempel) and being recognized with an Honourable Mention for Best Short at the Sunset Film Festival in LA, ‘The Weather Girl’ was awarded Best Performance by a Female (Johannah Newmarch) and the Women in Film and Television Vancouver Award for Best Female Director at the 2013 Vancouver Short Film Festival.

Judy Lee- Vancouver Casting Director
Judy Lee is a Vancouver native whose work in film has taken her from Los Angeles to the Sierras of Mexico. Her career began as an actor in Hollywood North, expanded into script development and production in Montreal and L.A. before serendipitous twists brought her back to Vancouver. She has worked on numerous television movies and feature films starring actors such as Donald Sutherland, Charlize Theron, John Cusack, Jake Gyllenhaal, Danny Glover, Christopher Plummer,Ron Perlman, and Simon Pegg.

Paul Dhillon- Writter, Director, Journalist
R. Paul Dhillon is a seasoned film and television writer, producer and director based in Vancouver. He holds a degree in Communications and a minor in Film from Simon Fraser University. Dhillon has amassed a number of production credits, including TEARS AND SIGHS on the abuses of alcohol in the South Asian community as well as a VARIETY television show for Rogers Multicultural Station; PLANET AAJ (1997/98), a South Asian variety show shown on Baton Broadcasting’s flagship Vancouver television station VTV (now BC-CTV); The SAINT SOLDIER (1999/2000) – a one-hour documentary on B.C.’s Sikh community also for CTV; SLICES OF MY LIFE (1992/93), a slice of the immigrant experience, which was produced through a grant from B.C. Ministry of Tourism; SOUTH VAN STUD (1992), a play for Expressions ’92 Youth Festival; and AUTUMN LEAVES (1990/91), a short film which was selected at Montreal’s Student Film Festival. Dhillon has also written several short and feature length film scripts including THE FUSION GENERATION and SPICELAND, both of which his company MMM Films is developing. His documentary THE BHANGRA GENERATION for Rogers’ Toronto-based OMNI Television made its broadcast debut on September 24, 2008. In that same year, he also saw the release of his debut indie feature film SWEET AMERIKA, which he co-wrote, produced and directed for MMM Film Finance International. SWEET AMERIKA was released in Canadian theatres on September 19, 2008. The well received film made its US Debut at the Spinning Wheels Film Festival of Hollywood in November 2008 and was released in US on May 22, 2009. Both The Bhangra Generation and Sweet Amerika were acquired by CBC for airing on their specialty channel BOLD! He is currently finishing off a Documentary Series for Rogers OMNI and will soon begin work on his next feature film The Fusion Generation, which will be made in two separate English and Punjabi versions for international release.

Mandip Sandhu: Writer, Director, Producer at Sand Dune Entertainment
With a passion for raw reality storytelling, Mandip Sandhu has taken a long journey to finally pursue and see to fruition his dream of filmmaking. It was after many years of ignoring the gnawing itch to write stories while he pursued other endeavours that Sandhu decided to give in and began studying screenwriting at SFU’s Praxis Center. He knew then that this was his calling. This initial foray into the filmmaking work, turned into recurring extra opportunities on film and television. He took this opportunities are ways to soak in everything about filmmaking, spending a large part of his time on set chatting with production crew and learning about every facet of the industry. Most recently Sandhu’s latest film, Devil’s Night, won the Royal Reel Award at the 2013 Canada International Film Festival and was screened at the 2013 Vancouver International South Asian Film Festival. He is currently focused on funding and production of his upcoming feature film, The Line, where Sandhu aims to take the experiences his own stained past, Degree in Criminology and his years of service in the Criminal Justice System to share stories that are soulful renditions of the trials and tribulations of the criminal underworld. Sandhu is looking forward to once again being a part of VISAFF in 2014 by screening the trailer for The Line.

Paul Armstrong- Producer
Paul Armstrong is an award-winning Vancouver film, television and theatre producer. He is also founder and producer of The Celluloid Social Club, a monthly screening of short films. Most recently he joined Crazy8s, the 8 day filmmaking challenge, as the Executive Director.Recent feature film credits include ‘Lawrence & Holloman’ directed by Matthew Kowalchuk; ‘Moving Malcolm’ starring Elizabeth Berkley; the Genie Award nominated ‘See Grace Fly’ and ‘Ill-Fated’ which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. Short film credits include the record breaking 13 Leo Award winning ‘Anxious Oswald Greene’ by Marshall Axani, and a dozen other short films.Paul has also produced TV commercials with Adplay Media for WirelessWave, produced music videos for Bif Naked, Jim Byrnes and Jeff Martin of the Tea Party and produced 20 plays, from Shakespeare to Ibsen to Mamet

sukh johal does visaff 2014

With a background in sales, security and real estate development, Sukh is a political strategist excelling in community organizing, fundraising and civic affairs. He enjoys performing and has appeared as a background performer in Hollywood productions. Sukh grew up on the tough streets of Dunoon, Scotland before moving to Canada at age 10 and brings a unique perspective to Surrey604. He speaks his mind, and believes social media can be a force for good. Sukh has been a control agent for President Obama’s Inaugural Celebration team in Washington DC and spoke on interfaith affairs at the White House. A member of the Surrey Board of Trade’s International Trade Team and Vancouver Board of Trade’s Company of Young Professionals, Sukh is also past President and current VP Public Relations of Surrey Civic Speechmeisters Toastmasters Club at City Hall and VP of the Multifaith Action Society of BC, an interfaith organization promoting grassroots diplomacy, cooperation and goodwill.

Events

6 events you need to attend in Surrey: Aug. 6-14

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Surrey events
There is so much to do in Surrey next week (Steve Smith / Shutterstock)

Looking for something to do? You’re in luck! From outdoor movies to a butterfly release, there is so much to do in Surrey this week.

Aug. 6: Movies Under the Stars

 

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You can head over to Holland Park for a free movie under the stars starting on Aug. 6. The fun starts at 6pm with plenty of games, singers, crafts, draws, and so much more. Be sure to bring a picnic blanket or lawn chair and some yummy snacks to enjoy. The movie schedule is as follows: 

Aug. 6: Sing 2

Aug. 13: Encanto

Aug. 20: Sonic the Hedgehog 2

Address: Holland Park, 13428 Old Yale Rd.

 

Aug. 6-7: Music and Meditation Festival

Need some relaxation? Visit Surrey City Hall on Aug. 6 and 7 for the Music and Meditation Festival. The event starts at noon, and on Aug. 6 there will be “meditative flute music by Edgar Muenala, Indigenous dance by the Wild Moccasin Dancers, meditation workshops with Rani Thompson of Raaga with Rani and multi-instrumentalists The Nair Brothers, activities for children and parents, and much more! On Aug. 7 you can enjoy free outdoor music from members of Sahaja Yoga BC from noon–2pm, and free meditation classes at the Surrey Central Library from 2-4pm.

Address: Surrey City Hall, 13450-104th Ave.

 

Aug. 6-7: Play Time: Heritage Board Games

Tired of Monopoly? Learn about the board games that residents in Victorian Surrey would have played. This event is free and the only thing you need to supply is the players. 

Address: Historic Stewart Farm, 13723 Crescent Rd.

 

Aug. 10: Sounds of Summer: Dalannah Gail Bowen

 

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Enjoy a free outdoor concert in Holland Park on Aug. 10 from 6:30–8pm. This week’s performance is Dalannah Gail Bowen who is a “76-year-old Afro-Canadian Cherokee singer, songwriter, actress, play writer, storyteller, event producer, social activist, International Memphis Blues Awards semi-finalist (2017) and a Blues Hall of Fame Master Blues Artist (2015).”

Address: Holland Park, 13428 Old Yale Rd.

 

Aug. 13: Habitat for Humanity 11th Annual Butterfly Release

Watch a live butterfly release at the Fleetwood Villa on Aug. 13 starting at 11:30am. This event is free to watch but you’re also able to purchase a butterfly to release, with all proceeds going towards Habitat for Humanity. Butterflies cost $20 each and include a butterfly cookie. There will also be live entertainment and a barbecue lunch. For more information on how to reserve your butterfly, check the City of Surrey website

Address: Fleetwood Villa, 16028 83 Ave.

 

Aug. 13-14: Play Time: Old Fashioned Toys

You can visit the Historic Stewart Farm to play with the toys that the Stewart children would have enjoyed in the early 1900s. You’ll also be able to play some outdoor games and make your own toy to take home! This free event is a part of the Historic Stewart Farm’s themed summer weekends. 

Address: Historic Stewart Farm, 13723 Crescent Rd.

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Events

6 events for you to check out in Surrey: July 1–9

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Surrey events
From ice cream making to free concerts in the park, there is so much to do in Surrey (@thecityofsurrey / Instagram)

Looking for something to do? Well, you’re in luck! There is so much to do in Surrey this week.

 

Surrey Canada Day

Canada Day 2022 is coming up quickly and the City of Surrey has plenty of plans to celebrate. You can check out an Indigenous Village, the Summer Market, or enjoy some live music from artists like Arkells! There will also be plenty of food trucks and amusement park rides to enjoy. You can check out our previous article for a full breakdown of everything happening. 

Address: Bill Reid Millennium Amphitheatre, 176th St and 64th Avenue, Surrey

 

Ice Cream Making

From July 1 to 3 you can visit the Historic Stewart Farm to learn how to make your own homemade ice cream like Surrey residents from the 1900s. Not only that, but you’ll be able to take some home. 

Address: 13723 Crescent Rd, Surrey

 

Surrey Rides

 

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If you’re 18 or younger and like to skateboard, bike, or scooter, then head over to South Surrey Youth Park on July 5 from 4 to 8 pm for Surrey Rides. There will be free snacks, good jams, and prize giveaways for everyone who attends. Helmets are mandatory and spectators are welcome. Be sure to visit the City of Surrey website for a full schedule of Surrey Rides. 

Address: South Surrey Youth Park, 14601 20 Avenue, Surrey

 

Sounds of Summer: Sons of Granville

 

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Visit Glades Woodland Garden for a free summer concert with Sons of Granville on July 5. Be sure to bring a picnic blanket or chairs and you’re encouraged to bring a picnic dinner to enjoy. Sons of Granville started as a busking duo back in 2010 and have since gained popularity and brought on more band members. This is definitely a concert you won’t want to miss. Gates open at 5 pm and the concert starts at 6:30 pm. 

Address: The Glades Woodland Garden, 457 170 Street, Surrey

 

FVDED in the Park

FVDED in the Park returns to Holland Park this year on July 8 and 9. Headlining the iconic Surrey festival are Illenium, Excision, Rick Ross, and Don Toliver. Tickets are on sale now and you can purchase them online

Address: Holland Park, 13428 Old Yale Road, Surrey

 

SHIAMAK: spirit of India

BC’s biggest Bollywood dance company is coming to the Bell Performing Arts Centre on July 8 at 7:30 pm to perform “spirit of India.” This is a celebration of India’s spirituality, mythology, colourful festivals, weddings, music, dances, Bollywood, and will include over 90 performers! Tickets start at $36 and can be purchased onlineAddress: Bell Performing Arts Centre, 6250 144th Street, Surrey

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Events

BC’s biggest Bollywood dance company, SHIAMAK, is performing “spirit of India” in Surrey

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This event is to celebrate the 75th year of India’s Independence.

SHIAMAK is coming to Surrey on July 8 for the “spirit of India,” a celebration of the 75th year of India’s Independence with music and dance. 

The performance will include India’s spirituality, mythology, colourful festivals, flamboyant weddings, magnificent music, exhilarating dances, and, of course, Bollywood — this production manifests the true spirit of India’s multiculturalism.

There will be over 90 different performers who come from all over the Lower Mainland and the performance will include a retelling of the Ramayana, one of the largest ancient epics in world literature.

Not only is this a must-attend event but this will be SHIAMAK’s return to the stage since their last performance in 2019.

You can buy tickets to “spirit of India” online starting at $28. The performance will take place at the Bell Performing Arts Centre on July 8 starting at 7:30 pm. 

Address: Bell Performing Arts Centre, 6250 144th Street

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Here’s what to expect from Surrey’s Canada Day Celebration

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Surrey Canada Day
The event will be headlined by Arkells and have an Indigenous Village, amusement rides, a summer market, and more! (City of Surrey / Facebook)

Canada Day 2022 is coming up quickly and the City of Surrey has plenty of plans to celebrate. Here are some of the highlights of this year’s celebration. 

 

Music:

There will be musical performances for the entire day with Arkells headlining the show. You can also expect performances from Shawnee Kish, Haviah Mighty, En Karma, Teon Gibbs, Ashley Pater, Glisha, Kung Jaadee, Pleasant Trees, and many more! Plus, all of these performances are free so you can enjoy as much music as you want. 

 

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Summer Market: 

Plenty of local vendors will be making their way to the Canada Day celebration this year, and they’ll be set up in the Summer Market. Some of the vendors include Mysgreen, lil so&so handmades, The Refill Shop, Mountain Mornings, and So Fresh Air Fresheners. 

 

Food Trucks:

No Canada Day celebration is complete without food, and there will be tons of food trucks available for you to choose from. Whether you’re feeling like some delicious sandwiches from Bread and Cheese, Bannock from the Bannock Queen, vegan delights from the Dirty Vegan, Japanese-inspired hotdogs from Japa Dog, or mini donuts from Mr. Ken’s Donuts, Surrey’s Canada Day will have it all! There will be over 30 different food trucks at the event. 

 

Indigenous Village:

For this year, the City of Surrey is putting a big emphasis on reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. On the Surrey Canada Day Website, the City said “July 1st is a day to chart a new and better path forward. Together, we can work towards reconciliation and a more equitable society for all. We invite you to come together to experience diverse cultural expression, as well as the best of Canada and its hope for the future. Surrey Canada Day is committed to sharing music, education, entertainment, and the cultural practices of many Indigenous and multicultural artists. Event organizers are working with leaders from land-based Nations and an Indigenous consultant in the planning and programming of this event.”

One of the highlights of this year’s celebration is the Indigenous Village with plenty of different sections to check out. The Siam Stage (which means “Respected Ones” in Coast Salish languages) will feature Indigenous cultural sharing, the Residential School Survivor Honouring Ceremony, and contemporary music performances. There will also be a sharing circle where “the public is invited to participate in discussions with Residential School Survivors to learn first-hand about the hardships they lived through while attending the schools. Attendees will also have the opportunity to meet the children of the Residential School Survivors, who will share how their lives were impacted by the inter-generational trauma caused by the Residential School system.” 

In addition, there will be traditional teachings, doll-making demonstrations, game playing from the Onyota’aka Nation with S^yowah (Son-Yo-Wah), ribbon skirt making, and a community mural painting with Brad Henry.

 

Amusement Rides:

If you’re looking for some thrills then you’re in luck, there are plenty of amusement park rides available at Surrey’s Canada Day celebration. You can ride on the Ferris wheel, crash into some bumper cars, get turned around in the Zipper, or walk through the Kreepy Kastle. To get on these rides you must buy tickets, with one ticket costing $1.50. You can also buy 20 tickets for $30 or 40 Tickets for $50. There will be 16 different rides to choose from. 

 

Fireworks:

The celebrations will end with a fireworks display starting at 10:15 pm that you will not want to miss. 

 

For more information on everything happening for Surrey’s Canada Day, be sure to visit https://www.surrey.ca/canadaday/

Address: Bill Reid Millennium Amphitheatre, 176th St and 64th Avenue, Surrey

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7 events for you to check out in Surrey June 10–18

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7 events for you to check out in Surrey June 10–18
There's so much to do in Surrey (Oleg Mayorov / Shutterstock)

Looking for something to do? Well, you’re in luck! There is so much to do in Surrey this week.

 

June 10: Seniors Week

Visit the Historic Stewart Farm on June 10 from 11 am to 2 pm for Seniors Week. There will be live music and performers, heritage activities and demonstrations, tours of the 1894 farmhouse, samples of delicious homemade treats, and activities in recognition of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

Address: Historic Stewart Farm, 13723 Crescent Road

 

June 11: Magical QUIRK-E Tour

QUIRK-E (Queer Imaging and Riting Kollective for Elders) is hosting numerous spoken word and video performances at the Museum of Surrey on June 11 from 2 to 4 pm. There will be cartoons, videos, short films, songs, a scene from a play, stories, and poems. This event is 14+. 

Address: Museum of Surrey, 17710 56a Ave

 

June 11: Car-Free Day

Car-Free Day is coming to Surrey Saturday, June 11. This event will turn 137 street into a car-free paradise with tons of local merchants, musicians, and family-friendly activities like balloon twisting, jugglers, and face painting. There will also be a beer garden (for the grown-ups) and plenty of food trucks. 

Address: 7380 King George Blvd

 

June 16–19: Strawberry Tea on the Farm

If you missed Seniors Week, then you can visit the Historic Stewart Farm from June 16–19 for strawberry tea on the veranda. There will also be ice cream and other treats for you to enjoy. Tickets cost $18.20 and you can register for them online or by calling 604-501-5100.

Address: Historic Stewart Farm, 13723 Crescent Road

 

June 17: Youth Pride Dance

Youth ages 13 to 18 are welcome to attend the Youth Pride Dance, an inclusive and welcoming event to celebrate Pride. There will be dancing (of course), games, snacks, and prizes for the most creative outfits. LGBTQ2S+ and allies can attend this event. Registration for this free event is available online

Address: Chuck Bailey Recreation Centre, 13458 107A Avenue

 

June 18: International Picnic Day

Visit Hazelgrove Park for International Picnic Day on June 18 from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. Bring a packed meal and your friends and family to enjoy an evening full of fun activities. There will be mini-golf, storytime, different fun park activities, and different vendors from the Cloverdale Farmers Market. This event is free and open to all ages. 

Address: Hazelgrove Park 7080 190 Street

 

June 18: Surrey Fest

This year is the 22nd anniversary of Surrey Fest! Head over to Holland Park from 11 am to 4 pm to enjoy music, prizes, vendors, and more! This event is free but expect it to get busy. 

Address: Holland Park, 13428 Old Yale Rd

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