Disneyland and Anaheim to commemorate end of fasting with SoCal Muslims

The Islamic Center of Southern California's Eid al-Fitr celebration at the Los Angeles convention center.
The Islamic Center of Southern California's Eid al-Fitr celebration at the Los Angeles convention center.

Disneyland and the city of Anaheim will celebrate Eid al-Fitr with Southern California Muslims at a festival this weekend in downtown Anaheim.

The free event, which includes entertainment, rides, games, booths and a number of other activities, is expected to bring in nearly 10,000 people. There will be more than 70 booths and food vendors in attendance, according to event organizers.  

"We wanted every community to celebrate with their own mosque [on the day of Eid]. This is the first time we're all celebrating together," says Maria Khani, chair of the Eid festival committee. 

Eid al-Fitr, which was officially celebrated August 8, translates to festival of breaking fast and is a Muslim holiday that follows Ramadan, a month of fasting from sunrise to sunset.

The city of Anaheim is hosting the Eid Festival in its downtown area and contributed $7,500. The committee putting it on — comprised of  nonprofit groups, business owners and Anaheim's mayor Tom Tait, who is the event's honorary chair — is hoping that it continues as an annual event. 

“What’s different about this (festival) is that it’s not hosted by a specific organization, or a specific mosque, or a specific Muslim community,” says Dania Alkhouli, who is a volunteer for organizing committee. “This is pretty much a united effort to invite and have all the Muslims in Southern California to celebrate their Eid together.”

Disneyland donated about 30 Disney passes that will be given away to attendees in opportunity drawings.  

“Disneyland Resort supports a variety of diverse events throughout the community, and we are proud to be among the sponsors of Anaheim's inaugural Eid Festival,” says Suzi Brown, director of media relations and external communications at Disneyland Resort, in a statement.

Local business owners say the two-day festival is likely to boost business. 

Anaheim's Eid Festival will take place 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday at 205 Center Street Promenade in Anaheim.