The 52nd annual Marshall University International Festival is providing a multicultural experience to the Tri-State community from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 15, at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena.
Admission to the festival is free and the public is welcome. Guests can purchase food tickets to sample dishes from around the world.
Participating restaurants include Black Sheep Burrito & Brews, Chateau D’Italia, Hibachi Japanese Steakhouse, Julian’s Market, New China Garden Buffet, Marshall Dining by Sodexo, La Famiglia, Fratelli’s Italian Restaurant, Chipotle Mexican Grill and Casa Grande.
International students and faculty will represent about 20 countries at the festival with display booths and in activities and demonstrations.
Live entertainment will be provided by ¡Comparsa!, a Latin ensemble, along with various international student participation.
Jyotsna Patel is the coordinator for the event and works in the Center for International Programs.
This will be Patel’s third year coordinating the festival and she said she expects 2,000 to 3,000 people to attend this year.
“I think it’s good because you can just learn about a different culture right there and then, you don’t have to have a visa or passport or travel anywhere,” Patel said. “I look forward to seeing all of the different tables, the booths, the displays–and I actually enjoy the way everybody comes together.”
Patel said the International Festival benefits students by allowing them to interact with other cultures through food and music.
“This will help them when they go out in a global environment after their studies,” Patel said.
This year during the festival there will be special appearances from Marco and Batman with his Batmobile.
The festival features raffles for a gift card to the MU Bookstore, a Stonewall Resort golf package and more.
Marco’s Pizza and Chipotle Mexican Grill are sponsoring the event.