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Celebrate Chamblee to kick off
by Bobby Tedder
btedder@neighbornewspapers.com
May 09, 2012 01:44 PM | 520 views | 0 0 comments | 25 25 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Samantha M. Shal
Chamblee City Manager and CEO Niles Ford has led efforts to establish Celebrate Chamblee, which will take place on Peachtree Road near City Hall on May 19.
Samantha M. Shal Chamblee City Manager and CEO Niles Ford has led efforts to establish Celebrate Chamblee, which will take place on Peachtree Road near City Hall on May 19.
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The inaugural Celebrate Chamblee community festival is set to kick off a campaign.

Billed as the premier family event for the city, the occasion is designed to showcase diversity through cultural activities and offerings, according to event coordinators.

“With all the international perspectives we have in our community, we want to develop a community feel,” said Chamblee City Manager and CEO Niles Ford. “I jokingly call Chamblee a fine gumbo.”

“There’s a lot of buzz going on throughout our community about this event — we’re talking all areas and backgrounds,” he added. “We’re very excited about it.”

An array of food vendors and entertainers will line the streets near Chamblee City Hall as part of the festivities.

Getting the event off the ground has been a task spanning several months and involving individuals representing various ethnic and business interests.

“We tried to reach out and make it as diverse as possible,” said Ford. “Our focus is family fun … we’re trying to draw people who want to come out, have a good time and promote goodwill.”

Celebrate Chamblee is part of an initiative being undertaken by city officials espousing unity and inclusion among the municipality’s eclectic, melting pot population.

Attendees, hailing from the city and surrounding areas, will have the opportunity to take part in salsa lessons and line dancing. They can also take in the musical stylings of area groups spanning a wide range of genres, including a mariachi band, Korean drummers as well as pop, R & B and hip hop acts among others.

For young festival-goers, a children’s’ play area will offer an array of activities, including moon walks, clowns and their shenanigans, an art studio and face painting section.

Since this year marks the event’s initial run, officials said they are not looking to define success solely from a quantitative standpoint.

“Different segments of the community have already started to develop relationships, both professional and personal,” Ford said.

“If we see respectable numbers and [residents] leave here saying ‘When is the next event?,’ I’ll consider it a success,” he added. “If they are satisfied, had fun, had a great experience and recognize what Chamblee has to offer … that spells success to me.”

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