Festival brings in cultures from all over the globe

The 53rd annual International Festival will take place Saturday at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena in Huntington for an evening filled with international foods, world music, dance and displays representing a variety of different countries and cultures.

The event will take place from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., will be open to the public and entrance is free of charge.

International restaurants from around the area will be at the festival offering treats from their menus. The public will be able to purchase food tickets upon arrival so they can sample signature menu items.

The Center for International Programs was established in 1993. Its mission is to assist in internationalizing Marshall University and the surrounding community through a coordinated effort. The Center contributes to one of the primary missions of Marshall University — to educate a citizenry capable of living and working in a global environment.

“The Center for International program achieves Marshall’s mission by promoting leadership and diversity in the Huntington Tri-State community through hosting the annual International Festival,” said Jyotsna Patel, International Festival coordinator.

The festival will also include special appearances from Marshall University’s Marco and the world-renowned superhero, Batman.

“Children attending the event will have the opportunity to have a sample passport stamped as they travel to various student booths representing at least 15 different countries,” Patel said.

A children’s area will also be available, featuring a giant World Educational Map on which the children can play.

Live entertainment will feature Voodoo Katz of Charleston, a six-man band known for their core Caribbean and African numbers, as well as various performances by Marshall University international students.

“I believe that this event will shed some light on other cultures for people in the area that aren’t able to travel internationally,” Patel said. “I learned that in the past many people were inspired by the educational, fun aspects of this event. Wanting to expand on this, I have scaled it up making it available to all people, adding more children’s activities.”

Jordan Nelson can be contacted at [email protected].