For more than three decades, members of the University and the greater Charlotte communities have flocked to UNC Charlotte’s annual International Festival to sample cultural traditions and fabulous foods from around the world. Now in its 37th year, this year’s International Festival will take place from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM, Saturday, Sept. 29, in and around the Barnhardt Student Activity Center.
As UNC Charlotte’s longest-running cultural event, the festival 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 the International Festival 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 the festival’s presence over the years is indicative of the rich ethnic diversity that is present today. And so we continue to celebrate," said Marian Beane, chair of the International Festival's planning committee.
– Marian Beane, Planning Committee Chair
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.
In addition to the hallmark elements, this year's festival will include a new feature - an international games area for attendees of all ages to participate in and learn about the cultural significance of various games. Participants can learn the rules of bocce, play a game of life-sized chess, or join in a soccer match.
The International Festival is sponsored by the Office of International Programs, Cone University Center, Recreational Facilities Management, and the Student Union, with support from: Baxter Design Co., Advent Lutheran Church, Arts and Science Council, Chartwell’s College and University Dining Services, the Office of Business Affairs, and Student Activities.
Admission and parking are free; the International Festival will be held rain or shine. More information is available online, or call 704-687-7781.
Photo by Charlotte Klopp, World Affairs Council of Charlotte.