Volunteers come together for Escondido's Holiday Festival
USA Multicultural volunteers got together to organize toy donations ahead of Escondido’s Holiday Festival on Saturday. While they're grateful for all the toys they'll be able to hand out to children, putting such an event together takes a lot of work.
“A lot of behind the scenes goes into all this to make a successful event. The festival is for the community and that's what its all about," said Sohaila Handelsman, one the founders of USA Multicultural.
This is the seventh year the group has held the event.
“It's very important to have community events because it helps bring the cultures back together, and it helps bring community together," Handelsman said. "We have to keep our community going stronger everyday and keep things alive.”
But putting on the event is also a community effort, said Angel Aguilar, the co-founder of USA Multicultural.
“In order to have a strong community, we need to have active families that participate. We can't be a strong community if we don't have family events,” he said.
But COVID-19 is still weighing heavy on people’s minds. Aguilar said many families still hesitate to volunteer or attend community events.
“It's hard for people to have the trust to be out again. And the same goes for sponsors and businesses wanting to participate. So we just have to keep trying and knocking on their doors,” Aguilar said.
Part of the group’s goal is to also celebrate the different cultures in the community. So the event will feature performers, entertainment and vendors from different cultures as well.
The Holiday Festival runs from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Grape Day Park this Saturday. Escondido’s Christmas Parade starts at 2 p.m. and ends at the festival location.