UNC Charlotte’s International Festival is back and better than ever. The University’s longest-running cultural event is set for 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 23, in and around the Barnhardt Student Activity Center. Admission and parking are free; the event will be held rain or shine.
“The International festival is an excellent opportunity for Niner Nation to come together with the greater Charlotte community to experience cultural traditions and foods from around the world,” said Joe Hoff, director of the Office of Global Education and Engagement.
This year’s festival is centered around booths arranged in colorful marketplace style representing the cultures of over 35 nations. The booths are staffed by UNC Charlotte international students and members of Charlotte’s international community and feature art, crafts and cultural items from each participating country. Many booths also offer international food for sale.
In addition to music and dance representing a variety of nations throughout the day, the festival will highlight international games for attendees of all ages to participate in and learn about their cultural significance.
The 45th International Festival will feature a Parade of Nations highlighting traditional dress at 2 p.m. in Halton Arena. A full schedule of events for the day is available on the International Festival website.
First held in 1975, the International Festival continues to recognize the Charlotte region’s growing diversity. Attendance at the International Festival in previous years has topped 20,000.
The UNC Charlotte Office of International Programs coordinates the International Festival with support from several campus and community partners including Chartwells College and University Dining Services, the Department of Student Athletic Center and Venue Management, Division of Business Affairs, and Department of Student Union Activities and Recreation. This year’s event is possible through the University’s Inclusive Excellence Grant program.