By Carissa D. Lamkahouan TMO contributing reporter
Following its wildly successful debut last year when more than double the expected amount of attendees showed up, the second annual Halal Fest Michigan is primed to make an even bigger splash this year with even more folks turning out to sample the festival’s larger lineup of delicious halal food and bigger variety of family-friendly fun.
Halal Fest Michigan 2015 is set for Saturday, Aug. 8 at Heritage Park Amphitheater Pavilion in Canton, Mich., an area which boasts one of the largest Muslim communities in the country. The festival hours are noon – 7 p.m.
Festival organizer and CEO Mostansar Virk said online buzz and early interest in the festival has been strong. As a result, he’s expecting anywhere between 6,000 and 8,000 attendees to show up, many from as far away as Ohio, Illinois, Indiana and even Canada.
“It’s a huge happening,” Virk said.
And, of course, they’ll all be coming for the main event – the food.
More than 20 restaurants, food trucks and catering companies will be on hand serving up some of the best halal food Michigan has to offer. Virk said festivalgoers can sample a wide variety of ethnic and American-style food from businesses such as Chicken Coupe, Sara’s Sweet Treats and Khalipha Katering just to name a few.
Food, by its very essence, is a unifier, Virk said, explaining that in addition to showcasing amazing halal food, bringing people together, particularly Muslims and non-Muslims, was one of the biggest reasons he had for launching the Halal Fest in the first place.
“At the festival we can have all the halal food here at one place, a place where people are able to relax and spend time with their families and other people who come out,” he said. “The idea is that this event is open to anybody and everybody regardless of whether they’re Muslim or not. Overall it’s just an excellent experience.”
That experience not only entails food, there will be plenty of activities as well that will appeal to children and adults.
“There will be poetry readings, a petting zoo, giant Jenga blocks, carnival rides, a bazaar and even pony rides,” Virk said. “This year’s event is something special.”
With attendance expected to be high, the festival organizers are urging those who want to join in the food and fun to buy their tickets ahead of time, preferably online where they will receive discounted rates.
For more information or to by tickets log on to www.halalfestmichigan.com. Tickets are $5 per person and children under 7 are admitted for free. A family of five entry fee is $15, however this discount is only available online. Full-price admission can be purchased at the door on the day of the event.