HUNTSVILLE, ALA.: Each fall, the International Society of Huntsville and UAHuntsville present the ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF NORTH ALABAMA (iFest)!
Our fourth year’s festivities will be held on Saturday, September 28th from 10:00 a.m. till 5:00 p.m. in the Gymnasium, Parking, and Sidewalk areas of Spragins Hall, 1070 Ben Graves Drive, NW on the UAHuntsville campus.
The iFest is a one-day, family-friendly spectacular―Open to the Public, with NO Admission Charge―and links with the Alabama Tourism Bureau’s “Year of Alabama Food” promotion. Join us for:
- 11:30 a.m. – On, West Parking Lot Area (Tent): a $5 Sampling of International Comfort Foods―a festival favorite! Savor such delights as Bœuf Bourguignon (France); Bulgogi (Korea); Tofu Pad Thai (Thailand); Satay Ayam (Malaysia); and Mupunga une Dovi (Zimbabwe)
- 2:00 p.m. – On, Gymnasium Area: International Dessert/Snack Samplings from many of the participating nations! Examples include: Chrusciki (Angel Wing Cookies), Strudel Jabłkowy (Apple Strudel), Sernik (Cheesecake), & Oranżada (Citrus Soft Drink)—Poland; Tiramisu & Espresso—Italy; Baklava—Turkey & Palestine; Anzak Biscuits (Rolled Oat/Coconut Cookies)—Australia; Zoolbia (Crunchy Persian Pastries) & Iranian Tea—Iran; Biscochitos(Sugar/Cinnamon Wedding Cookies)—Mexico; and Trung Nguyên (Deep-Roast, Heirloom Coffee)—Vietnam
- All Day, West Parking Lot Area (Tent): A wealth of Global Performances, from Folk Dance and Traditional Instrumentals to Ethnic Song and Martial Arts. Expect to see such artists as: Fitness Arts Center Irish Dancers (Traditional Step Dancing); The Little German Band (Waltz/Polka/Military/March Music from Austria & Germany); Center for Kuchipudi Art (Classical Dance from State of Andhra Pradesh, India); the UAH Salsa Club (Latin American Dance); and Heidi Kaeding (Ehru (Chinese Three-Stringed Instrument) Performance)
- All Day, Gymnasium Area: FREE, Hands-on Children’s Activities, ranging from: Making Boomerangs (Australia) to creating Flowers w/Caribbean Flag “Petals” (Caribbean Islands), crafting Crowns (British Isles), and a chance to write your name in Greek (Greece) and/or Kiss the Blarney Stone (Ireland)!
- All Day, Gymnasium Area: Transnational Table Displays featuring Cultural Artifacts, Flags, Travel/Historic Literature, Handicrafts, Native Apparel, Maps, Educational Videos, and so much more!
- All Day, Front Sidewalk Area: A Cutout (a.k.a. “Stand-In” or “Character Stand”) Lineup in Traditional Clothing, offering great photo ops!
For 2013, the iFest Spotlight Country is Colombia—watch for their showcase! Our Featured Performers are Step Afrika!, a Washington-based “percussive dance troupe” sponsored by the UAHuntsville Office of Student Affairs and dedicated to the tradition of stepping and its use as an educational, motivational, and healthy tool.
Other campus organizations supporting the fest include the Student Government Association; Office of Diversity; Office of Advancement; M. Louis Salmon Library; Chinese Students and Scholars Association (CSSA); and the Indian Student Organization (ISO).
Though many of the school’s students and faculty assist in presenting the iFest, this extravaganza’s source of power comes from the volunteers within the North Alabama community, particularly those associated with transnational organizations. Nations as diverse as Poland, Thailand, India, Ghana, Malaysia, Pakistan, Ireland, Australia, Nepal, Turkey, Panama, Egypt, Greece, and MORE (37 nations in all!) will be represented in 2013…and each year is bigger and better than the last.
For more information, visit www.internationalsocietyofhuntsville.org or the ISH Facebook page, or contact Belinda Ong at (256) 824-6432 or firstname.lastname@example.org. One can also visit the individual organizations’ websites and the iFest event page on Facebook.
Bring the entire family and join your friends and neighbors in celebrating the MOSAIC that is NORTH ALABAMA!
About the International Society of Huntsville…
The goal of the organization is “to bring diverse international citizens together for social interaction and cultural awareness in the general region of Huntsville, Alabama.” It is the goal of the Society to establish a permanent International Festival (iFest) for Northern Alabama along the scale of those in Birmingham and Mobile. You can follow them on Facebook.