Planning for the second annual Northland Community Bazaar, an event aimed at highlighting the different cultures that have come to call the neighborhood home, are moving along, according to organizer Jenny Lin.
The bazaar is set for 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sept. 22 at Epworth United Methodist Church, 5100 Karl Road. The inaugural event was held at St. Andrew Presbyterian Church on East Dublin-Granville Road.
"As soon as Jenny Lin asked if Epworth would host the Northland Community Bazaar, I immediately said yes because it was an opportunity for us to connect with the community and celebrate the diversity of the population," the Rev. Jennifer Casto said. "We wanted to be a part of that."
"It's going well," said Lin, chairwoman of the Northland Alliance, of lining up vendors to sell baked goods, artwork, knitted goods, candles and more, as well as organizations to offer information booths.
"I think we've got a good lineup," she said. "I'm kind of focused now on getting a bigger crowd out this year."
Lin said among the two dozen or so organizations already committed to being on hand are those representing the Bhutanese Nepali, Somali and Nigerian communities, US Together, Community Refugee and Immigration Services and Ethiopian Tewahedo Social Services. In addition, an immigration lawyer and the Columbus Metropolitan Library are scheduled to be represented.
Several performances are on tap, including a Bhutanese Nepali dancer and a Zumba instructor.
"We're going to try this year to have ... a high school band out there," Lin said.
City Councilman Emmanuel V. Remy, a resident of the Northland area, and state Rep. David Leland (D-Columbus) plan to make opening remarks.
"This year, I believe just building up the capacity and getting more people aware, we can continue to grow that way," Lin said. "In the long term, that will help a lot.
"I feel pretty good about the vendors that we have and the activities that we're going to do."
"The main thing that we are doing is offering hospitality," Casto said.
"That means we're offering the beautiful space that we have outside on the lawn and whatever is necessary to offer hospitality."
Casto said she sees some real good coming out of events like the bazaar.
"I think it's really important that we celebrate the diversity that's in the Northland area. The more time we can spend together, the more we can celebrate that diversity. It's only by being together that we can learn from each other and get to know each other ... and find out that we have many differences, but that there's a lot we have in common and that, too, is worth celebrating.
"It's wonderful that Epworth can be a safe space with which to do that."