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Jul 9, 2021

Reviving the Belize Fest in Los Angeles, California

In news from the Diaspora, Belizean Americans in Los Angeles, California and a non-profit organization led by Faron Smith Junior are trying to revive Belize Fest. Due to the pandemic, the Belize Fest could not be held in 2020, but Smith Junior wants to get the ball rolling for its comeback this September. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.


Duane Moody, Reporting

A non-profit organization out of Los Angeles, California is seeking to revive the Belize Fest; two weeks of festivities that celebrate everything Belizean – from culture, food and entertainment.


Faron Smith Jr.

Faron Smith Jr., President, True Belizean

“Belize fest is basically two events, two weeks apart and held on a Sunday. It is a family event so children get to come in for free. What we do is, we block off the street in Inglewood and we turn it into a mini version of a celebration for Belize. We have a herb lady that comes all the way from Belize and she brings herbs to sell to people out here in the diaspora that we wouldn’t be able to find here without being in that celebration. We have arts and crafts, we have all the Belizean food you could think about. We have participation from many Belizean artists in Los Angeles and around different parts of the diaspora. The whole day is a time where you could visit all the booths and go learn something about Belize and every single part of Belizean culture and then towards the evening, we have a concert and throw down and march and turn up.”


The goal is to once again provide a platform for Belizean artists to showcase their talent in the U.S., performing for Belizeans abroad as well as foreign nationals who attend.


Faron Smith Jr.

“The pandemic has caused for artists to not be able to work that much or any at all. Most artists haven’t been working any at all when it comes to performing and travelling and just doing what artists do. My platform is an opportunity for artists to be able to work back again since Los Angeles is fully open and we are able to do in-person concerts. So this is a way for Belizean artists who have been dealing with the pandemic and everything to be able to come out here and perform and show Belizean culture with mostly of the diaspora and friends that we have out here.”


But for this to happen, True Belizean is seeking partnership with the Ministry of Culture.


Faron Smith Jr.

“I am hoping that this is something that would interest the Belizean people and I am hoping that we could make it happen because I know for a fact that having a relationship like this would benefit the artists and it would benefit the people here in the diaspora because we don’t get to see Belizean artists like that.”


The goal is for the Belize Fest is to take place in September of this year. Duane Moody for News Five.

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