WCU’s 38th annual International Festival set for March 29

The Western Carolina University community will come together to celebrate the diverse cultures and traditions of its international student population during the 38th annual International Festival on Wednesday, March 29.

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. with a world flag parade on the lawn of A.K. Hinds University Center and around the Central Plaza fountain. Alison Morrison-Shetlar, WCU provost, and Ling LeBeau, the university’s director of international programs and services, will welcome attendees at 11:15 a.m., and performances will begin at 11:30 a.m. with a salsa and merengue dance lesson, with crowd participation encouraged.

Other performances will feature Sri Lankan and northern Indian music, a karate demonstration and a presentation of anime songs by WCU’s Japanese Program.

The International Festival will offer 48 information booths, with 18 of those staffed by international students and study abroad returnees who will be giving out free food samples typical of their home country or the country they visited. Other booths will be staffed by representatives of community organizations and campus departments and services, with Aramark, WCU’s food service partner, also providing free food samples. Information about WCU’s Study Abroad and Intensive English programs will be available.

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.