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International Festival is Nov. 9 at Big Sandy Superstore Arena
For the second year, the festival will take place at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena, to accommodate the event’s need for additional space. It was previously on Marshall’s Huntington campus.
"Last year, we had more than 4,000 people visit the festival, and it was one of the most exciting and well-attended international events in our region," said Dr. Tammy Johnson, executive director of admissions and international student services. "We are looking forward to an even bigger crowd this year."
By moving the festival to the larger location, organizers were also able to invite area restaurants to join in the celebration. This year, the festival will feature 11 different food vendors. Each restaurant will offer tastings of signature menu items for guests to purchase.
In addition to the international foods, the festival will also feature music and dance from around the world, along with displays representing more than 60 countries and cultures provided by Marshall University international students and the Tri-State international community.
"The International Festival is a perfect fit with Marshall's efforts to increase international enrollment and involvement on campus," Johnson said. "The festival provides a tremendous opportunity for our students, faculty and staff to interact with the Huntington community at large. It's a wonderful event for everyone who attends."
The students are the heart of the festival from hosting booths representing their home countries to entertaining the crowd with cultural music and dance, said Jyotsna Patel, who is with the Marshall University Center for International Programs.
"Our students really enjoy and look forward to participating in the festival each year," Johnson said. "They enjoy telling others about their home countries and their cultures. A lot of time and work is put into preparing for the event."
Dr. Clark Egnor, director of international programs with the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, said the festival "demonstrates that Marshall University and the Huntington Tri-State community are welcoming to people from around the world.
“As we strive to prepare our citizens to live, work and compete in the global economy, Marshall’s International Festival serves as a great example for other universities and communities across West Virginia to follow,” Egnor said.
Participating restaurants at the festival include: Julian’s Market, Chateau D’Italia, Towers Market Place at Marshall University, Jug and Kilt, The Original Hibachi Japanese Steakhouse, Cedar Market, La Famiglia, El Rachito, Nawab Indian Cuisine, River & Rail Bakery and New China Garden Buffet.
Food tickets will be available for purchase at the festival or in advance at the Marshall University Memorial Student Center on Friday, Nov. 8, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. For further details about Marshall University's annual International Festival, contact the Center for International Programs at 304-696-6265, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the International Festival website at http://www.marshall.edu/cip/festival/.