WCU to celebrate 30th annual International Festival on April 1

Western Carolina University will honor the diverse cultures of international students, faculty and members of the community at its 30th annual International Festival. The event will be held on the A.K. Hinds University Center lawn from 10 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 1.

WCU’s International Festival promotes cultural awareness and appreciation through a day of celebration and education. The event provides awareness of the world through international music and dance, arts and crafts, and culinary cuisine from a variety of cultures including Italy, Asia, South Korea and Latin America.

Kevin Childers, student services specialist in WCU’s Office of International Programs and Services, has helped coordinate the festival since 1999, both as a student and an employee of WCU. “As individuals, we want to express ourselves beyond family, community, church, state and nation to the outermost limits as a cosmopolitan or a world citizen,” Childers said. “Cullowhee is a mere dot on the map, but I believe this celebration reaches much further than Jackson County.”

Information booths set up on the lawn will display languages and cultural activities such as Hmong artistry, Japanese animation and the Native American student organization.

Entertainment provided will include Cherokee hoop dancing and native song, salsa dancing, jujitsu and kendo martial arts exhibitions, English folk dancers, Highlands pipes and drums and WCU’s Gamelan ensemble.

The festival is free and open to the public.

For more information, contact Christopher Pedo at (828) 227-2557, or via e-mail copedo@wcu.edu.