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South Asian Network hosts first ever Alliston Kite Festival

July 15, 2022   ·   0 Comments

On Saturday, June 25, the South Asian Network of Simcoe County (SANS) hosted the first ever Alliston Kite Festival at the Adjala–Tosorontio Municipal Office in Warden Park.

The four-hour event saw more than 300 kites (250 of which were purchased on site), flown by over 350 people, and filling the skies with all the colours of the rainbow.

Admission to the event was free, with costs offset by donors and business sponsors.

Vendors for the day were: Foodiez food truck of Barrie; Toby’s Roti Hut of Alliston offering Trinidadian food; Oh! So Sweet Candy of Loretto selling candy, Dominion Lending Centre – Tony Phekoo – offering mortgage services; Cooperator’s Insurance – Sandra Phekoo, offering insurance services; Momma Bear & Chaulk1Up of Alliston selling home crafts; Ananda Wellness & Rosemont Yoga with bath bombs, essential oils; Shiv Shine Car Detailing of Alliston; Riyasat Creations of Brampton with custom print t-shirts; Momentum Mortgage of Alliston offering mortgage services; B Chilling Ice Cream of Alliston; Petro Canada/A&W of Cookstown; and two henna artists.

“Abbasi Kothari, the VP of the South Asian Network of Simcoe, was the main inspiration behind the idea of a kite festival,” Anjana Thom of SANS told The Times. “Kite flying is a long-standing cultural tradition in many Asian countries, such as China, India, Pakistan, Nepal, and Afghanistan. In India, colourful kites are flown in January when the seasons change from winter to spring, bringing one of the harvest cycles to a close. The winds shift direction, therefore giving a lift to the kites and signalling to the agricultural communities whether crops can be sown or not. In recent times, kite flying has since become a sport and a recreational activity, and kites are now made from more durable and lightweight materials to enable them to fly higher and easier.”

SANS was originally founded in October 2021 as a social media group.

Since April of this year, it has been incorporated as a non-profit organization with the Government of Canada and has five founding directors.

The organization intends to bridge the gap and make transition for people of different cultures to come together and celebrate differences – together. SANS strongly believes, that together we all rise as one, and they have many more events in the pipeline to do just that.

“We are close to 250 members now and in the process of building a website and a proper membership base,” said Thom. “We are planning a Diwali event which will be even bigger than the first one we held last October. We now have the permission to set off fireworks, which are an integral part of Diwali celebration, so we will be incorporating those into our plans this year. We hope to see many members of the community come out and celebrate this special occasion with us.”

Thom and the SANS committee wish to extend a very special thank you and enormous gratitude to its five generous sponsors, “without whose contribution this event couldn’t have been possible”: A1 Grocery Barrie, BarBurrito Alliston, Harvey’s Alliston, Cooperators’ Insurance – Sandra Phekoo Alliston and Alliston Smiles Family Dentistry.

“A heartfelt thank you to our donors of prizes and gift certificates: Pizzaiolo, Pizza Hut, Tahini, Dominion Lending Centre – Tony Phekoo, BarBurrito, Rebel Crumb, Sally’s Nail Salon, Kelsey Kirk Scentsy, Farmasi & Thrive,” said Thom. “As well, a big thank you to our elected officials who came out to support us, Mayor Floyd Pinto of Adjala–Tosorontio, Town of New Tecumseth Mayor Rick Milne and Councillors Donna Jebb, Alan Lacey, Stephanie MacLellan as well as the Adj-Tos Fire Department who kindly sent out a fire truck with three fire fighters to help kids learn about fire safety. We are truly grateful and appreciate our community’s support from the bottom of our hearts. We’d also like to thank our very talented photographer, Deepa Laxmi.”

For more information about the South Asian Association of Simcoe County follow them @saascsimcoe.

By Wendy Gabrek

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