Immerse yourself in a world of enchantment and exhilaration at the International Kids Festival 2024 in Sacramento, a vivid celebration that united thousands of multicultural families


On May 25th, Sacramento once again hosted the highly anticipated International Kids Festival, an event that continues to grow in popularity, attracting thousands of guests and participants. Now in its 20th year, the festival has experienced increasing success and has become a beloved annual tradition for the community.

Initially, the International Kids Festival was established to commemorate International Children’s Day, which is celebrated in many countries on June 1st. With the support of Assemblymember Roger Dickinson, the State of California now also celebrates International Children’s Day, thanks to his proclamation. As a result, the last weekend of May sees California’s capital welcoming guests from the entire region to partake in this joyful celebration.

“Our vision was to create a genuine celebration reminiscent of our childhood and that of many Californians,” shares Festival producer Sergey Ivannikov. “We are thrilled to have achieved this dream, as the Festival now brings joy to thousands of children and their families, and that is truly the most rewarding aspect for us.”

Organized by the Council For Cross Cultural Affairs, the International Kids Festival received additional support from Community Outreach AcademyCommunity Outreach Academy, Slavic American Chamber of Commerce, and California Live Productions. The event became a memorable experience for children who enjoyed pony rides, a miniature train, rock climbing, trampolines, remote control car races sponsored by Fast Track Hobbies, and a diverse array of multicultural stage performances. Attendees also marveled at the magic show featuring renowned illusionist Mike Angel and participated in numerous exciting contests throughout the festival.

The Festival’s distinguished guest was renowned Hollywood actor Will Roberts, known for his roles in over 30 films. His recent portrayal of General Marshall in the acclaimed movie “Oppenheimer” received numerous awards. Additionally, Roberts is a professional illusionist and the proud owner of the famous Oldest Magic Shop in Monterey, California, Zucchini’s Tricks N’ Things. Both children and adults were captivated by his mesmerizing illusions, reluctant to leave his booth throughout the event.

“I absolutely loved the experiments led by the hilarious professor,” says young Melanie, referring to a new Festival exhibit showcased this year by the non-profit organization STEMpire. At the STEMpire exhibit booth, the wonders of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) were presented through fascinating experiments that captivated the curiosity of both children and adults alike.

“We extend our deepest gratitude to Liliya Semenyuk and her incredible team for their exceptional work at the STEMpire exhibit booth this year. Their dedication truly made an impact, and we eagerly anticipate further collaboration on upcoming projects,” expressed festival organizer Alisa Yurchenko, President of the Council for Cross Cultural Affairs.

The International Kids Festival proved to be advantageous not only for children but also for parents, as the event showcased various Californian businesses, non-profit organizations, churches, and government agencies, offering valuable resources and networking opportunities for all attendees.

“I would like to take a moment to express my sincere appreciation to the elected officials who supported this year’s Festival: Congresswoman Doris Matsui, California Senator Angelique Ashby, Sacramento County Supervisor Pat Hume, Placer County Education Board Director Sergey Terebkov, California Assembly Representative Roger Dickinson (retired), and Folsom Cordova School District Director Chris Clark,” stated Sergey Ivannikov, the Festival’s producer.

Festival attendees had the chance to interact with representatives from various regional medical offices and hospitals, dental and orthodontic clinics, law firms, as well as educational institutions, ranging from schools to colleges and universities. Law enforcement officials also had a notable presence at the event, bringing police cars to the park that provided children with a thrilling opportunity to sit behind the wheel and capture memorable photos.

This year’s festival saw the participation of over 100 organizations, all dedicated to sharing information about their activities and opportunities throughout the day. American Furniture Galleries representatives added to the excitement, conducting prize draws for children and furniture giveaways for adults every half hour.

Numerous gifts were also presented by real estate broker Larisa Yevtushenko and her team, contributing to the festive atmosphere.

Alina Mukhopadhyay, co-founder of My Insurance Services Inc., recently featured in New Times Magazine and Sacramento Business Journal as one of the “People on the Move,” along with her team, shared valuable information on various state programs designed to support new immigrants. They also organized several exciting giveaways of high-value items. Some of the programs they highlighted include the Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants (CAPI), which provides financial support to aged, blind, or disabled non-citizens who are ineligible for other forms of assistance. Additionally, they discussed the recent expansion of Medi-Cal, California’s Medicaid program, which now offers health insurance coverage to undocumented immigrants of all ages.

“Our participation in the International Kids Festival was a first for us, and it proved to be an incredible opportunity to expand our horizons. The event provided a valuable platform for us to engage with potential patients, exchange contact information, and establish numerous connections that will undoubtedly contribute to the future growth and success of our medical organization shared Maria Sazhina, co-founder of the Smart Health Clinic.

“We have been sponsoring the International Kids Festival from beginning. A beautiful smile and healthy teeth for children today mean their happy future tomorrow,” said Dr. Yan Kalika, a certified specialist in orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics, who presented the Image Orthodontics and Rockville Smiles clinics at the Festival. “This annual event provides us with a unique opportunity to connect directly with the parents of our current and prospective patients while sharing vital information about the latest advancements in dental treatments and orthodontic techniques.”

The Festival showcased a diverse range of global cuisines. Uzbek cuisine was represented by the popular Caravan restaurant. “It was particularly delightful for us to introduce guests to the delectable dishes of our national cuisine,” shares Aziza Soatov, the restaurant’s owner. Uzbek pilaf, kebabs, shawarma, and other flavorful Uzbek halal dishes left a lasting impression on Festival guests, evident from the long line at the restaurant’s food truck.

Throughout the International Kids Festival, young singers, musicians, regional ensembles, and dance groups performed on stage – talented children who have already won numerous awards at various competitions and festivals in America.

“A key foundational idea behind the creation of the International Kids Festival was to invite as many cultural groups residing in the California region as possible,” said Festival producer Sergey Ivannikov during the Festival’s opening. “Our goal is to provide a platform for these communities to showcase their unique heritage on a professional stage, fostering a greater appreciation for their traditions among both guests and performers alike.”

“The Festival serves as a catalyst for professional business connections, assists parents in discovering their children’s interests, and provides an exhilarating experience for the children themselves,” summarized festival organizer Alisa Yurchenko. “Witnessing these positive outcomes – joyful children, and happy families – is the most significant acknowledgment of our efforts and the ultimate goal of this annual event.”

The Festival reached its grand finale with an exhilarating prize draw, featuring two miniature Mercedes-Benz cars sponsored by Mercedes Benz of Sacramento, a proud member of the Envision automotive group.

This year, the Festival’s auto zone was sponsored by General Manager Brian Sheldon of Mercedes-Benz of Sacramento, who generously provided the vehicles for the grand prize. The presence of their Sprinter van display also fostered valuable connections among small business owners, all under the guidance of Sprinter Headquarters Director Loren Willson.

While the festival may have come to an end, the spirit of giving continues. The organizers of this family-friendly event have announced a contest for the best photo, video, and costume from the festival. Participants can submit their best photos and video recordings to info@c4cca.org for an opportunity to win additional prizes, further extending the festivities and preserving cherished memories from this annual celebration.

Special thanks once again to the dedicated organizers who made this annual event a resounding success: Alisa Yurchenko, Larissa Gonchar, Victor Migalchan, Sergey Terebkov, Galina Dorris, Pavel Gorbenko, Mila Karpekin, Daniil Dyakov, Slava Borshchev, Mona Ghaffarian, Lynne Tatro, Shukhrat Yusupov, program director Dina Bugaevskaya, Festival MCs Janet Kabish and Elijah Kalinyuk, sound engineer Yaroslav Stalin, DJ Free Soul, and the visionary Festival producer Sergey Ivannikov. Their collective efforts have resulted in a vibrant and truly memorable celebration for families to cherish.

As guests continue to share photos and reminisce about their experiences, the organizers will receive well-deserved words of gratitude. California eagerly anticipates the International Kids Festival 2025, which will take place, as always, on the last Saturday of May in one of the Capital’s most picturesque parks – the beloved William Land Park in Sacramento! This beautiful urban oasis will once again serve as the perfect backdrop for an unforgettable celebration of culture, joy, and togetherness.

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