WCU’s 35th International Festival to be held April 9

photo of International Festival

Western Carolina University’s annual International Festival, scheduled for April 9, always opens with a flag procession by international students.

The Western Carolina University campus will be transformed into a small global village as the university holds an annual celebration of the diverse cultures and traditions of its international student population.

The 35th annual International Festival, which is open to the public free of charge, will be held on the lawn of A.K. Hinds University Center from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 9.

“International Festival fosters cultural awareness, appreciation and understanding of the world’s diversity through music, food, dance, arts and crafts,” said Kevin Childers of WCU’s Office of International Programs and Services, which is among the organizers of the annual event. “The festival will feature a variety of booths with international items for sale as well informational booths, all of which will help to boost internationalization at WCU.”

The festival will open with a flag procession by international students, followed by remarks from Alison Morrison-Shetlar, provost at WCU.

International Festival activities will include a demonstration of Japanese singing in remembrance of the devastation caused by the Japanese earthquake and tsunami in 2011 and performances by local Cherokee flutist Matthew Tonni; the WCU Gamelan ensemble, led by Will Peebles; traditional Saudi Arabian dancers; world folk music by Whimzik (Glenn Kastrinos and Kjelsty Hanson); the WCU Inspirational Choir; and the WCU Straight-Ahead Jazz Septet.

In addition, a team of international students will take on a WCU intramural team in a pre-festival soccer match beginning at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 8, at the Catamount Athletic Complex.

For more information about the 2014 International Festival, contact WCU’s Office of International Programs and Services at 828-227-7494 or via email at dnmoore@wcu.edu.