Chaldean Festival this weekend

By Sean Shapiro
Journal Register News Service

Featuring traditional Chaldean food and entertainment, the festival offers fun for all ages. Each night, Chaldean music will take center stage starting at 6 p.m. Saturday and 5 p.m. Sunday.
Prior to the evening’s traditional music, the festival will host performers DJ Flexxx, The Troubadours, Slight Return and Steve Acho.

The family-oriented event will have staples found at most festivals, including inflatables for the kids to play on and more than 65 merchant booths for visitors to peruse.

Chaldeans are members of a Catholic ethnic group primarily from Iraq. Many have come to the United States because of religious persecution, and there is a population of more than 120,000 Chaldeans in the metro Detroit area.

The Chaldean Chamber Foundation started the festival three years ago.

“(Before the festival began) we?ve never had something like this for our particular community,” said Lisa Kalou, director of operations and events for the Chaldean Chamber Foundation.

New this year, the festival has added a bingo tent and an artist tent consisting solely of Chaldean artists. There also will be a raffle, in which festival guests can win up to $10,000. Tickets are $20 a piece or a pack of six is available for $100.

The festival begins at 2 p.m. both days and continues until 11 each night.

Last year, the City of Southfield estimated there were 25,000 to 30,000 visitors and roughly the same numbers are expected for this weekend.