This year’s Highland Fling is celebrating global community with “What a Wonderful World” theme that focuses on culture and community service.

The Fling takes place from July 27 to Aug. 3 and features annual events, as well as a couple of unique events. This year’s celebration begins with a luau and ends with a Beatles tribute band called Imagine, both of which are new this year.

“I’m most excited for Imagine,” said Julie Tapusoa, the Highland City events coordinator. “They will be performing with the newly-formed Highland Orchestra, and we hope the orchestra will continue to perform even after the Fling.”

Annual events are still being held, but some will follow the theme. For example, the baby celebration is encouraging parents to dress their children in international clothing. Also, the annual art show has a special category for internationally themed art.

According to Tapusoa, she has big plans for the stage entertainment this year as well. There are acts such as magicians, Flamenco and Irish dancing, as well as an international food taste test.

“All of the stage entertainment that I’ve scheduled has a cultural feel,” Tapusoa said.

Like the 2018 Fling, this year will also have a heavy focus on service. Instead of local community service, these projects are focused on global community.

Residents are invited to participate in the service projects from Elevita and Days for Girls.

Elevita is a volunteer organization that helps underprivileged artists from countries such as Cambodia, India and the Philippines by selling their art in the U.S. market. Highland residents Keyne and Kirsten Monson founded the organization.

Days for Girls is an organization that helps girls around the world gain access to menstruation products as well as women’s health education. Volunteers put together menstruation kits to send to girls so they have access to safe, reusable products. Mary Jean Ridges operates the Highland Days for Girls group out of her home and provides space for volunteers to assemble the kits.

The Fling 5K Fun Run called “Trot for Courage” will also be partnering with Courage Reins, an equestrian rehab that helps children with disabilities, child abuse victims and other struggling youth. The proceeds and benefits from the 5K will benefit the children who are working with Courage Reins.

See what people are talking about at The Community Table!