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Davis, California

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

International House hosts International Festival

The Davis International House held its second annual International Festival at the Veterans Memorial Center located on 203 E. 14th Street. The event was held on Saturday from 12 to 6 p.m.
The subtitle for the event was “unity in diversity.” The event was entirely free to the public.
Robert Blake, an International House Board member as well as a Spanish professor at UC Davis, was one of the many volunteers to lend their time to the event.
“We’ve got 28 country tables set up and I’d estimate that about 70 percent of them are run solely by international student associations from the university,” Blake said.
Activities at the event included international food sales, arts and crafts vendors, live cultural dance performances and children’s workshops and activities.
The International House is a private, independent and nonprofit organization. It is located at 10 College Park, directly across campus. February will mark the organization’s 32nd year of existence.
“Davis frankly doesn’t have a reputation of being very diverse,” said Elisabeth Sherwin, the executive director of International House Davis. “But when you come out to an event like this, you’ll see that Davis is, in fact, very diverse.”
When asked what people should take away from this event, Sherwin responded simply with, “World peace.”
Julia Hunter Blair, who spent 10 years working for the International House, is now an attendee of the event after having left the organization four years ago to retire.
“[This event] is actually bigger and better than anything we ever did,” Blair said. “I came last year and I was dazzled by it.”
Last year, an estimated 3,000 people attended the event. Sherwin believed that the same number would be in attendance this year.

The turnout at the event was a well-balanced mix between students, families and just about anyone else that was curious enough to see what the International Festival had to offer.

Nevertheless, International House members would like to see more students get involved.
“Sometimes I feel like there’s a moat on Russell between the International House and campus,” Sherwin said. “And the students never cross it. We would love to have more students come by.”

ANDREW POH can be reached city@theaggie.org.


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