popular International Folk Festival returns to UWEC
by Bailey Berg
To anyone who says the Chippewa Valley has no culture, the International Folk Festival, put on by UW-Eau Claire, will prove you wrong. The fair, a free event coordinated by the Center for International Education, is the largest international festival of its kind in the area and represents a multitude of cultures and traditions. Students, community organizations, and university departments represent more than 40 different cultures each year, bringing with them powerful stories about cultures we may not be familiar with. Some of the showcased countries include: the Balkins, China, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Ethiopia, France, India, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Nicaragua, Poland, Russia, Serbia, Scandinavia, Scotland, Spain, Thailand, and Vietnam, just to name a few. Fairgoers will be given “passports” to be stamped as they make their way through the fair, “traveling” from country to country. For every seven countries visited, participants will receive a ticket for prize drawings. Visitors can enjoy traditional and exotic food as well as live world music and entertainment on several stages, ranging from Polish accordion music to Native American drumming, and see dozens of colorful cultural exhibits, as well as experience the history and language of other cultures without leaving Eau Claire. The festival represents, in other words, a readily affordable weekend of global experiences and connections – an overseas trip without the overseas plane fare.
International Folk Festival • Nov. 7 • Davies Center, UWEC, 105 Garfield Ave. • noon to 4pm • FREE • all ages • 836-4411 • www.uwec.edu/cie/fsa/Programs/folkFair.htm