The early April sun shone down warmly on Saturday, April 8, which saw the 35th Annual International Festival.
Wandering around the festival – located on College Ave in the stretch of road between the Jackson Library and the Stone building – I saw dozens of booths each offering information on the country that they represented.
There were over 50 countries being represented at the fair, along with a fair number of student organizations. Among the flags I saw – a fair number of which I honestly didn’t recognize – were Israel, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Japan and South Korea. Many of the booths were also selling food and small items for people who were looking at different stands as well as telling people who were interested about their cultural heritage while dressed in their traditional attire.
Also at the festival were a number of booths for student/school organizations, like the Interlink Language Center and several student cultural clubs and groups. Some of these booths – mostly the ones that represented student organizations – even had games that could be played by passersby.
A number of groups performed over the course of the afternoon, a fair percentage of them musical acts. While they performed on the Stone building lawn, far to the side of the festival, their music could be heard all throughout the festival. The one that I most strongly remember, mostly because I saw part of it as I was leaving the festival, was a dance number performed by two people representing a country in Latin America.
Food was not lacking either, as on top of each booth giving out samples of food there were several local vendors, including Pita Delite, which was parked outside the EUC building along College Avenue, right next to the INTERLINK booth, which sat across the street – roughly – from the International Festival booth.
When I made my way over to the International Festival booth, I found that Laura Hudson organized the event.
Hudson is the leader of the UNCG branch of New Mind, an organization that deals with Study Abroad students and their travels. She also works heavily with the IPC, or International Program Center and INTERLINK, which, among other things, offers intensive English training to students from other countries.
I then began meandering around again, watching a game that one of the booths – either a student group or UNCG school organization – was offering being played. It was a trivia game designed to help people learn more about their organization. The balance between fun and information matched the feel of the International Festival as a whole.