WCU’s International Festival to be held April 13 on University Center lawn

Students pause during the parade of flags at a previous year’s celebration of WCU’s International Festival.

Students pause during the parade of flags at a previous year’s celebration of WCU’s International Festival.

Western Carolina University will celebrate the diverse cultures and traditions of its international student population during the university’s 37th annual International Festival on Wednesday, April 13.

Hosted by WCU’s Office of International Programs and Services, the festival is designed to foster cultural awareness, appreciation and understanding of the world’s diversity through music, food, dance, arts and crafts.

The event will begin at 11 a.m. on the lawn of A.K. Hinds University Center with a world flag parade. Brandon Schwab, associate provost for academic affairs, and Ling LeBeau, director of international programs and services, will welcome attendees at 11:15 a.m., and performances will begin at 11:30 a.m. with Whimzik providing Celtic, New Zealand and Scandinavian music.

Other performances will be Japanese Bon Odori folk dance at noon, Sri Lankan and northern Indian music at 12:30 p.m., traditional Saudi dance at 1 p.m., and Latin dance by the Latino Appreciation Student Organization at 2 p.m.

The festival also will offer about 25 internationally flavored booths staffed by food and craft vendors, campus organizations and international students. Aramark, the campus food service provider, will be giving out food samples, and other booth crews will distribute information about WCU’s Study Abroad and Intensive English programs.

Activities will conclude at 2:30 p.m. The event is free and open to everyone. For more information, contact the Office of International Programs and Services at 828-227-7494.