Global Fair, Global Feast: Food is focus at UWEC international gathering

Rachel Witthoft

UW-Eau Claire will once again bring the International Folk Fair to the Chippewa Valley. This family-friendly event will be noon to 4pm on Sunday, April 29, in the Davies Center on the UW-Eau Claire campus. Guests will experience at least 30 different cultures by visiting cooking demonstrations, live dance performances, and listening to music.

The International Folk Fair is free and open to all, although attendees are encouraged to donate to the UWEC Campus Harvest Food Pantry by dropping off nonperishable food items.

For 52 years, the fair has been a popular campus attraction, bringing in about 3,000 people annually, said Shu-Chuan Cheng of the Center for International Education at UWEC. Cheng took over the planning of the International Folk Fair last year, implementing a theme to ground the festivities. Last year, the universal theme of music was chosen for the event. “Every year is different; hopefully the theme will bring new elements and new energy to something that’s been going on for a long time,” Cheng said.

The theme of the 2018 International Folk Fair is “Global Feast.” In addition to tasting a variety of foods from countries around the world and learning about recipes and culinary preparation, local chefs will be putting on at least three cooking demonstrations during the event. Attendees will be able to purchase food and cultural products while surrounded by an environment celebrating diversity and culture. Throughout the day, event-goers can watch professional performances by the Klezmer Cabaret Orchestra and the Cheremosh Ukrainian Dance Ensemble, both from Minneapolis. Opportunities to sing, dance, eat, and learn language and history will be a part of the international celebration, which is one of the largest cultural experiences of the Chippewa Valley.

New groups to the fair are Filipina dancers from the Filipino-American Association, Student Organization of Latinos (SOL), International Business Student Professionals, Just Local Foods, The Community Table, Together Farms, Taiwan, and Spain/Club de Español.

Learn more online at facebook.com/uwecfolkfair.