For more than three decades members of University and greater Charlotte communities have flocked to UNC Charlotte’s annual International Festival (IFest) to sample cultural traditions and fabulous foods from around the world. Now in its 35th year, this year’s IFest will take place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 25, in and around the Barnhardt Student Activity Center.
As UNC Charlotte’s longest-running cultural event IFest attracts thousands to the campus for a full sensory experience — the sights, sounds and tastes of more than 50 countries and cultures.
“The original purpose of IFest was to provide a public venue in which to celebrate the cultural diversity represented by members of the University and Charlotte international community. The growth of IFest’s presence over the years is indicative of the rich ethnic diversity that is present at the University and in Charlotte today. And so we continue to celebrate,” said Marian Beane, chair of the IFest planning committee.
Visitors should plan to spend several hours or the entire day wandering through tents of brightly colored displays, conversing with participants representing their countries and cultures, tasting authentic cuisine from around the world and soaking up the atmosphere of song, dance and story.
– Marian Beane
Chair, Planning Committee
The entertainment will begin at 10 a.m. with the Loch Norman Pipe Band and continues throughout the day with an African storyteller, the Alborado Andean Band, Caribbean music and a South African Township/Brazilian Samba performance. Children are invited to explore the world from inside the 22-foot-high Earth Balloon and to document their travels throughout the day with the Passport Project.
IFest is possible, in part, with funding by the Arts & Science Council; the N.C. Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources; and the National Endowment for the Arts. Lance Inc. also is a corporate event sponsor. This year, freelance art director and UNC Charlotte alumnus John Baxter, ’97, gave back to his alma mater by sharing his art work as the visual representation of the festival.
Admission and parking are free; IFest will be held rain or shine. For more information, click here or call 704-687-7781.