Organizers of the Oct. 27 Fall Festival and Halloween Family Event at New Horizon Mall near Balzac are hoping the event will attract many visitors to the new facility.
“Last month, we did the Moonlight Festival and we [drew]3,200 people,” said Danny Chan, events organizer for the new mall. “I bet we’ll see about 4,000 [people]this time.”
The Fall Festival and Halloween Family Event will feature multicultural entertainment, he said, including Bollywood dancers from India, Spanish flamenco dancers, a Korean drum dance and a Chinese lion dance. Cultural performances from Korea and the Philippines will also take place on the stage, and visitors can stroll through the various booths and watch arts and cultural demonstrations.
Visitors can sample food from a spectrum of cultures, or purchase and take home an array of ethnic treats.
The event will also feature a number of lucky draws or door prizes, which will be provided by the resident retailers.
For kids, the Halloween Family Event will offer up an assortment of fun activities, as well.
“A kids’ play zone and a pumpkin-painting competition are for the family,” Chan said. “For the first 200 kids who come into the mall at noon, they’ll get a small bag of gifts.”
The event runs from noon to 5 p.m., and approximately 45 booths will feature a variety of multicultural products. Booths are still available and can be booked by contacting Chan at 403-262-0066. More information is available on the mall’s Facebook page.
Chan said he hopes this event will help show people what the New Horizon Mall has to offer.
“We have a really big farmers’ market and lots of handcrafts,” he said. “[We’ll also have] face painting, cultural demonstrations and food tasting – all different varieties. It’s going to be fun. Come and have fun.”
According to Chan, approximately 30 of the 500 stalls available now have permanent occupants. The mall has faced criticism from the public and media since it opened for how slowly the available retail spaces are being filled, with many calling it a “ghost town” or “eerily empty.”
However, Eli Swirsky, president of mall developer Torgan Group, said events such as this are part of what makes New Horizon different and helps bring shoppers into the facility.
He said the mall’s objective is to be a place “where all the community and people feel at home” and part of that is hosting community events that will be coming “fast and furious.”
“[The Moonlight Festival] made us visible to people and people could see our name, our brand, so that kind of promotion was very good for us,” said Muhammed Ruhul Amin, owner-operator of Just Juniors in New Horizon Mall. “Those kind of events, I think, will increase our sales and bring more people into the mall.”
“That’s what the mall position is built to be, a destination not just for shopping but for entertainment and community events – that’s the formula,” Swirsky said.
–With files from Allison Chorney