The second annual International Community Day event will take place at the Kerr McGee Community Center Friday, Sept. 15, beginning at 5 p.m. It is free.

The idea originated with Mayor Peggy Breeden, who suggested the community hold a huge potluck, food-centered event to help everyone share their own cultures and backgrounds while connecting as residents of the Indian Wells Valley. Last year's inaugural event was a huge success. Nearly 400 people attended and enjoyed the entertainment and free food.

To addition to free admission and free food, there will be no fee for businesses or organizations to set up booths at the event. Please contact Matthew Alexander at 760-382-3878 with questions, comments and requests for a booth.

The public is invited to show up, enjoy foods from around the world and (if they so choose) contribute their own dishes as well. In addition, there will once again be performance, music and table displays from numerous groups and organizations sharing their cultural heritages.

Presentations last year included entertainers representing Taiwan, Mainland China, Native America, Mexico, Philippines, Korea, India, Germany and Hawaii. Also providing entertainment were the Burros Jazz Band and In-Shape Zumba Instructors.

Food for last year’s event was donated by six local restaurants. Community organizations and fraternal organizations such as the Elks, Ridgecrest Regional Hospital and Cerro Coso Community College brought information and/or food.

According to Alexander, the hope is for this year's event to have even more diverse entertainment and food. Alexander especially encourages people to break out their old family recipes and dress in costumes showing family heritage.

The committee recently received a $500 donation from the Elks Lodge for this year's event. ICD Committee Members Matthew Alexander and Yolanda Alexander and 2017 ICD Queen Shaina Hansen were on hand to receive the donation from Elks Odessa Newman-Staples, Tia Courtney, Sheron Anderson, and Exalted Ruler Robert Anderson of Elks Lodge 1913.

The event is also on the agenda for the Ridgecrest City Council meeting August 16. The International Community Day Committee is asking the Ridgecrest City Council for a fee waiver/ in-kind donation of $700 to use the full banquet hall plus the kitchen for the event.

Alexander, representing the ICD Committee, also approached the Ridgecrest City Council last year with a similar request. They asked for a $780 in-kind donation to cover set-up, take-down, parks and recreation staff and hall and equipment rental. In the end, Breeden, Councilman Michael Mower and Planning Commissioner Warren Cox said they would privately donate $300, $200 and $280 respectively to fund the event.

The item is listed as a discussion/action item on council's agenda.

The regular council meeting is scheduled for Wednesday August 16 at 6 p.m., at City Council Chambers at City Hall, 100 W. California Ave in Ridgecrest. It will also be broadcast on Mediacom Channel 6 and streamed online at