JOHNS CREEK, Ga. — Residents and visitors came out in droves to Heisman Field in Johns Creek April 30 for the city’s annual International Festival.
The all-day event featured 80 food and retail vendors and 13 performers representing countries and cultures from across the globe.
Community organizations and city departments also showed up in full force with booths representing the Johns Creek Police and Fire Departments, Johns Creek Cricket Association the legacy arts campaign and Impact Johns Creek, among others.
As in years past, the Johns Creek Arts Center ran the kids zone tent featuring crafts and art projects that highlighted countries and cultures from almost every continent.
For resident Mounika Sunkara, Arts Center activities, like face painting and other kid-friendly festival offerings, were her favorites.
The last time Sunkara attended the event, before the pandemic, her daughter was just a baby, now she is 3 years old and was able to enjoy more activities, Sunkara said.
For first-time attendees and friends Susy Nordelo and Cheri Castro, the International Festival proved a fruitful shopping trip.
The two saw the event as they were driving by and decided to check it out.
“It’s a beautiful day to get out and see what all these different tents have to offer,” Castro said over her cup of Kona Ice.
Castro secured the hammock she’s been talking about getting for a while.
“I keep on bothering [Nordelo] that I was like, ‘I want a hammock, I want a hammock.’ And today I found a hammock!” Castro said.
Amid the festivities, Impact Johns Creek highlighted the Police Department’s work to improve service with mental health calls.
The organization gave an award to counselor Tasha Porter from the Middle Georgia Mobile Crisis team for her work in the city and with the JCPD.
Impact also honored two of the city’s public safety volunteers, Gerry Lewis and Deetra Pickens, and Police Chief Mark Mitchell for their dedication to the safety of the city and its residents.
“[Mitchell] has tirelessly planned and implemented and leads for all of Johns Creek to be connected through community policing, community outreach and community support,” Impact President Nicole Washington said.
After accepting his award, Mitchell addressed the growing crowd.
“We’re so blessed and humbled to serve such an awesome community,” Mitchell said. “Our officers don’t just do the job, they do it with passion and purpose every single day and our goal is to continue engaging with each of you in our community that we serve and protect you.”
For more information on upcoming city events, visit johnscreekga.gov.
Reach Sydney Dangremond at 770-847-7404. Follow her on Twitter @syddang_.