Davis meets world

International House to host fifth annual International

The fifth annual International Festival will be held on Oct. 4 in Central Park from noon to 5:00 p.m. Hosted by International House, this multi-ethnic celebration promotes “Unity in Diversity” through live entertainment, food samples from around the world and many more family-friendly activities.  

Ann Gunion, a member of International House and a vital participant of the festival committee, says that this event is meant to encourage different cultures within the Davis community to exchange customs and ideas.

“The idea is to bring all people together to celebrate our differences and party together,” Gunion said.

Volunteers from all parts of the community are welcome to participate in this event. Lou Ziskind, the new executive director for International House, said that there are about 100 volunteers, made up of a mix of student groups and other community members.

These volunteers will run culture tables which are meant to bring a slice of a culture’s customs, food and lifestyle to the festival. Along with these tables and ethnic food vendors, there will also be an international fashion show and a flag parade.

“Out of the many events and programs held by International House, this festival is our signature program,” Ziskind said.

The festival originated when Sandy Holman, the director of the Culture C.O.-O.P, was asked to join the board of International House. Before the birth of the festival, an annual Country Day was held instead. Based on Holman’s suggestion, the International House hosted its first International Festival five years ago. After three years of successful coordinating, Holman passed on her position as coordinator.

“I put my heart and soul into [International Festival]. I’m so proud of International House for expanding its event,” Holman said.

Although Holman is no longer coordinating the festival, she will still retain an active role this year by setting up a table representing African culture. While the festival’s main goal is to celebrate differences, Holman stated her personal hope is that this festival will bring people together with love in order to create support for one another in times of crisis.

“I want [this festival to work toward] creating a society where all people matter and all people thrive,” Holman said.

Admission is free. For more information please visit the Facebook event page.

Photos courtesy of Sandy Holman.