Do you want to know what you have in common with the world or take a journey based on your DNA? Then you don’t want to miss this year’s International Festival at The University of Akron Wayne College. Taking place February 7-9 in the Student Life Building, attendees will receive a passport photo and be entered into a drawing for a chance to win a free AncestryDNA™ kit by simply attending one of our educational sessions, such as “Traveling on a Budget,” “Read the World from the Comfort of your Sofa” or “The Power of a Dream.” Located at 1901 Smucker Road in Orrville, the festival and all entertainment is free and open to the public.
The theme for the three day event is Explore and Celebrate and opens with an education day featuring presentations, activities, Madrigal Dancers, bagpipe music, and cultural competition displays from student organizations. The following day the exhibits and hands-on activities continue, in addition to polka music, a mariachi band and international food samples. Visitors will receive a passport to take along as they “travel” between exhibits and activities, acquiring stamps that can be redeemed for a free International Festival t-shirt. Visitors also have the opportunity to explore the Race Experience Kiosk. “The Race Experience Kiosk allows participants to see themselves in six different races: Black, White, Asian, Hispanic, Middle Eastern and Indian,” said Jackie Ashbaugh, coordinator of student activities. “Something new and exciting this year will be the Future Cast Virtual Reality Pods. Visitors will have the opportunity to visit the Sydney Opera House, Machu Picchu, Taj Mahal or walk the streets of Beijing, Dublin and Saint Petersburg from the comfort of the Wayne College campus.”
The two exhibit days wrap up with the movie, No Manches Frida, which airs in the auditorium of the main classroom building on Thursday, February 8 at 7 pm.
The festival closes with a dynamic performance Friday, February 9 at 7 pm in the Student Life Building when the G.O.R.E.E. African Drum and Dance troupe takes the stage. Focusing primarily on West African dance styles, G.O.R.E.E. Drum and Dance is committed to honoring the culture and history of West African Dance, while bringing their own personal flair. Refreshments will be available for sale and doors open at 6:30 pm.
“Exploring other cultures is important to our worldview,” said Dr. Jarrod Tudor, dean of Wayne College. “The International Festival connects our students with the traditions and customs of other countries in a fun and interactive way that highlights our similarities and celebrates diversity.
Wayne College is proud to present the International Festival as part of The University of Akron’s Rethinking Race forum. For a full list of International Festival times and attractions, please visit the International Festival page or call 330.684.8973.