Tiara Travels

Ms. Five Hills Ashley Coombs speaks to the Copperas Cove Rotary Club about the inaugural Copperas Cove Multicultural Festival, scheduled Sept. 22 at Ogletree Gap Preserve.

A multicultural festival in Copperas Cove is a needed event to boost tourism and accommodate the growing cultural diversity in the community.

The city’s inaugural multicultural festival is scheduled Sept. 22 at Ogletree Gap Preserve and is the project of Ms. Five Hills Ashley Coombs.

“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,” Coombs told the Copperas Cove Rotary Club recently. “Knowing this, we wanted to find a new, fun, and free-to-the-public festival to help raise funds for sports and activities scholarships for students in-need and a multi-cultural festival was the obvious choice.”

Coombs also shared statistics demonstrating the growth of cultural diversity in Cove using information from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Copperas Cove Independent School District.

“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.”

Coombs and the royalty have attended several cultural events in the surrounding cities over the past three months to help advertise the event and gain awareness in the region.

Entertainment with various cultural dance groups has been scheduled from noon to 6 p.m. Vendor booths including both food and cultural wares will be available.

Vendor fees will provide the scholarships for students to enrich their education through the arts, sports, dance, music and other activities.

The scholarships will be administered through Communities in Schools which already determines financial and socio-economic need through its own programs.

“Having worked with children of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds for over 18 years, I have seen first-hand how important it is for children to be involved in activities outside of school,” Coombs said.

“Organized activities can help build children’s skills, self-esteem, and social skills, as well as enhance their brain development and physical well-being. There are very consistent findings that children who are physically active do better in school.

“Children who are more active show a higher attention span, have a faster cognitive processing speed, and perform better on standardized tests than children who are less active.”

Vendors interested in setting up at the Copperas Cove Multicultural Festival may apply online at the Five Hills Pageant Facebook page or email fivehillspageant@gmail.com.

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