The tenth annual South Bend International Festival gets underway today and runs on Saturday as well. An eclectic mix of food, music, arts and crafts will be on display in South Bend this weekend at the St. Joseph County 4H Fairgrounds on the city’s south side. The Pangani Foundation of South Bend sponsors the event. It was formerly known as the Reggae Festival.
The South Bend International Festival features a cornucopia of African, Latino and American culture. You will hear the sounds of classic blues, Tejano dance music, Jamaican reggae, and contemporary Zambian.
The lineup features the locally-based Elwood Splinters Blues Band, Los Hermanos Bueno, Darryl Buchanan, Matthew Tembo, JT Buffet, Dub Dis, Zion Lion and sowFlo. The schedule of performances can be found on the South Bend International Festival’s website.
Ticket prices are $10 at the gate before 6 pm and $15 after 6. Discount tickets can be purchased at Martin’s Supermarket for $13. Online tickets can be purchased for $10 (one day pass) or $17 (two day pass). Admission is free for youth under the age of 12.
The event’s organizer, John Pangani, is a local real estate broker and philanthropist. He was born in Malawi, a landlocked nation in southeastern Africa, bordering Zambia, Tanzania, and Mozambique. The festival’s motto is “A Celebration of Peace, Love and Unity”, which is reflective of Pangani’s philosophy.
“We will always look for ways to reach a wider audience to share in this slogan. It is at the core of our purpose,” Pangani says.
The goal of this year’s festival is to raise funds to build toilets for students in remote areas of the Central African nation of Malawi. Money raised from past festivals has resulted in medical supplies and over 2,000 blankets for a Malawi hospital, and books, computers and bathrooms for schools.