Plans are already in the works for a free International Festival celebrating “unity in diversity” on Saturday, Oct. 1, at the Veterans’ Memorial Center. The event, which will run from noon to 6 p.m., is co-sponsored by International House, Davis, and the city of Davis.
All are welcome at the next planning committee meeting at 3 p.m. Thursday at the Veterans’ Memorial Center, 203 E. 14th St. An estimated 1,500 people are expected to attend the event, which will feature music, food, dance, lectures and “lots of fun,” said Elisabeth Sherwin, I-House executive director.
“We will have a special games area for children and will give them the opportunity to ‘explore the Amazon’ outside. We also will have children’s activities at our many country tables inside,” Sherwin said.
Countries that will be showcased in the Vets’ Center multipurpose room are Brazil, China, Colombia, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Iran, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Pan Africa, Russia, Turkey, Venezuela and Poland.
Games or activities for children include:
* Making clay “diyas” (earthen lamps) in honor of Diwali, India’s Festival of Lights (India);
* Gasing, a top-spinning game, or Bekal, throwing a small ball in the air while trying to run over “seeds” (Indonesia);
* Box game (Iran);
* Origami (Japan)
* Henna (Pakistan);
* Pirinola, a six-sided top game (Mexico); and
* Hair braiding, and making a drinka symbol drum or necklace (Africa).
Local restaurants, including Thai Nakorn and Raja Indian Cuisine, will sell food at the event, too, with International House selling desserts.
On the stage, a variety of singers and dancers will perform, including the Jazz Patrol, the Elite Dance Company, the Wakanatsu Taiko Dawn Group, World’s Children Chorus, Fiesta Dance ‘n’ Fitness, Danzantes Dance Group, Jodama, China Moon Dance Troupe, Flow Crew, Davis International Folk Dancers and Reshmi (Indian dance).
Sandy Holman of the Culture Co-op, a member of the I-House board of directors, is in charge of lining up talent for the afternoon. “We have the greatest group of performers under one roof,” Holman said. “All kinds of world music and dance will be represented. You won’t want to miss it.”
The Jazz Patrol’s sax player is Calvin Handy, president of the I-House Davis board of directors and co-chair of the International Festival.
“I have been told that Davis has never had an event quite like this,” Handy said. “It’s important to note that our subtitle for the event is ‘unity in diversity.’ That’s what I-House is all about and that’s what we want the community to join us in celebrating.”
Several international vendors will sell their wares.
I-House board member Koen Van Rompay, founder of Sahaya International, is the webmaster for the International Festival webpage, which is being updated regularly between now and Oct. 1. Go to http://www.internationalfestivaldavis.org.
Sherwin will address several service clubs throughout Yolo County this summer, describing the International Festival. She will speak to both the Davis Sunrise Rotary and the Woodland Luna Vista Rotary in August.
To join the International Festival as a sponsor, contact Sherwin at (530) 753-5007 or firstname.lastname@example.org.