International Folk Fair Gathers Community to Celebrate World's Cultures
By Rachel Lloyd, Theresa Monpas, Nicole Patten
On Sunday, October 26, the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire hosted the annual International Folk Fair in Davies Center on campus. For nearly 30 years, this celebration of culture has reached four thousand people in the community. Each year university students and volunteers from the community work together to put on a celebration of cultural diversity for Eau Claire students, alumni, faculty, friends, families, and anyone in the Eau Claire area. The Folk Fair features over 40 various cultural groups and organizations annually.
Krista Brown, International Student Adviser for the Center for International Education, was very excited about this year’s International Folk Fair. She expressed enthusiasm for “students, [whether elementary, high school, or college]” to have "the fair open their eyes to other cultures on campus and in the community.”
Brown said she also hopes it sparks an interest in students for learning more about other cultures and getting involved in more intercultural activities and global issues. "The goal of the fair is to bring together the community in celebration of culture,” she said.
While Brown said a large number of the participants in the fair are UW- Eau Claire student organizations and groups, community groups also get each year in the fair.
Attendees of the fair can experience incredible, visual displays of culture, aromas of authentic food wafting through Davies Center, and an impressive culmination of hard work from all exhibitors.
Upon entering, each attendee receives a passport as a guide to the fair. These passports help visitors keep track of the displays they see and new facts they have learned about each culture by earning stamps. When a passport is filled with stamps, it can be turned in for tickets in a prize drawing.
Free and open to the public, the International Folk Fair is something all students, staff, alumni, and community members should check out next fall.
To learn more about participating and joining in International Folk Fair 2009, watch the UW- Eau Claire Center for International Education Web page. There are meetings in September for planning the event. No matter if you attended or missed the fair, take some extra time this year to learn about other cultures, raise awareness for diversity, and make sure to attend International Folk Fair 2009.
From left to right: Rachel Lloyd is a junior marketing major from Waukesha, Wis;
Theresa Monpas is a junior accounting major from Chippewa Falls, Wis; Nicole Patten is a senior marketing major from Cornell, Wis. They wrote this article for their BCOM advanced writing class.