This year’s International Community Day is scheduled for Sept. 14, but the festive fun got off to an early start with a Hawaiian-themed ICD Committee fundraiser Saturday.

Ridgecrest’s Homestead Family Restaurant’s patio room was the setting for a virtual luau, featuring a hula-hoop contest, the ICD queen coronation and a special Hawaiian-themed menu from the restaurant for guests to order from.

The room was filled to capacity, and ICD Committee member Matthew Alexander acted as emcee. The hula hoop contest was surprisingly competitive, but in the end the title was taken by 10-year-old Naomi Newton who managed to keep the hula hoop going for an impressive four minutes, 16 seconds. The young winner said she did nothing special to prepare for the competition, but that, yes, she was proud of the accomplishment.

Tia Roberts was crowned 2018 ICD Queen. The ICD Queen from 2016 Evelyn Buelna did the honors of crowning the new queen. The queen was selected by the ICD committee.

Roberts is from Biloxi, Mississippi, and is married with a son. She has been in the area for two years. She is currently a fitness instructor at In-Shape.

The coronation hit a snag when it was not initially noticed that Roberts’ sash was upside down. This was quickly corrected, with someone quipping “it takes a village.”

“It’s an honor to be this year’s queen. Thank you guys for coming, thank you for your support,” Roberts said.

The even featured a 50/50 drawing as a fundraiser for the big event in September.

This will be the third annual International Community Day. The idea was first suggested by Mayor Peggy Breeden, who floated the concept of a food-centered event to bring the community together. International Community Day was born, an annual event to celebrate the community’s diversity in food, music, dance, costumes and cultural displays. In addition to free international food, the event feature a parade of international fashions and flags and dancing.

The first year far exceeded expectations with more than 400 people attending. The following year’s event was successful also. This year’s event is scheduled for Sept. 14 at the Kerr McGee Center. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., and dinner will be served at 6:30 p.m. Everyone is welcome.