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June 24, 2009 > Festival embraces diverse faiths

Festival embraces diverse faiths

Submitted By Helen Kennedy

Buddhists, Catholics, Sikhs, Pentecostals, Muslims and Protestants - they all live in the Tri-Cities and they all worship in their own way. On Saturday, June 27, they are coming together to convene a daylong InterFaith Festival in Union City.

This multi-denominational event honors the many paths to spiritual understanding practiced by local residents. The demonstration of respect and tolerance for different beliefs is part of Union City's 50th Anniversary Celebration.

"Participants of the InterFaith Festival represent 18 local places of worship - churches, temples, gudwaras and mosques," explains Event Chairperson Myrla Raymundo. "Most will have information booths for those who want to learn more about various beliefs and spiritual practices."

"Visitors will enjoy a day of traditional dances, music and foods that are representative of several faiths," adds Larry Gissible, who is coordinating the program.

The opening invocation will be shared in English, Punjabi, Spanish, Japanese, Tongan, Thai, Tagalog, Tibetan and Chinese. The day will conclude with a thousand-voice choir singing "America the Beautiful." In between there will be performances ranging from Thai dancers to Taiko drummers to several gospel choirs as well as keynote speakers representing various local faiths.

"Quiet and contemplative times will also be observed, offering opportunities for spiritual thought and mutual understanding," says Helen Kennedy, president of Union City's 50th Anniversary Celebration Committee.

Attendees will be treated to free hot dogs and veggie burgers. Children can enjoy Kennedy Park's brand-new playground and various games throughout the day.

All entertainment will take place at the Kennedy Park amphitheatre. Attendees are encouraged to bring blankets or low lawn chairs so they can relax and enjoy as much of the program as they wish.

Parking is limited, so those coming from outside Union City are encouraged to take BART, which is across the street from Kennedy Park.

InterFaith Festival
Saturday, June 27
10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Kennedy Park Amphitheater
1333 Decoto Rd.
Union City

The Union City, California's 50th Anniversary Celebration committee is a 501(c)(3) non-profit public benefit corporation organized for the specific purpose of planning, organizing, and funding a year-long series of community events in 2009. For more information, please visit

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