The Punjabi Sports Festival may not be among the most widely known events, but it's one of the area's longest-running.
Organizers with the Punjabi Cultural Society of Chicago are encouraging the entire community to check out its 19th annual festival, which will run from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, July 27, at the Falcon Park Recreation Center in Palatine.
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"Our hope is to keep younger people involved so we advance our culture," society President Surinder Singh Sangha said. "We also want to expose all people to Punjabi culture."
Basketball and volleyball tournaments will highlight the festival. First and second prize are $1,100 and $500, respectively. The fest also will feature track and field events and kho kho, an intricate game of tag that is popular in South Asia.
Other activities include yoga, Bhangra aerobics and races for seniors and children.
Plenty of Punjabi cuisine donated by sponsors and restaurants will be available to sample. The food is free to fest-goers, a change from last year.
Although budget constraints have shrunk the festival from two days to one, leaders with the Palatine-based Punjabi Cultural Society are excited the event is back in the village for the second consecutive year.
In the past, park district officials couldn't guarantee a facility would be available, so the festival bounced around different parks in Addison, Chicago and Hoffman Estates.
Organizers are pleased with the accommodations at Falcon Park, 2195 N. Hicks Road, because activities can take place both indoors and out.
"We want to encourage our next generation to get good education, play sports, eat right, exercise and maintain a drug-free and alcohol-free healthy lifestyle," society Chairman Lakhvir Singh Sahota said.
For more information, call (847) 359-5727 or visit pcschicago.org.