By Dane Huffman
The 27th annual International Festival of Raleigh, a celebration of the diverse cultures in the region, is under way at the Raleigh Convention Center.
The festival, which attracted 30,000 people in 2011, continues Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
NBC-17 is the event's media sponsor this year, and children can visit the NBC-17 booth and “do the news” from spots around the world. Friday night, more than 100 children visited the booth to do the news.
NBC-17's Pam Saulsby and Valonda Calloway were at the station's booth Saturday from noon to 2 p.m., and Annette Newell and Sharon Delaney will be there Sunday from noon to 2 p.m.
The festival includes native dancing and performances, exhibits, shopping and foods from around the globe. There are multiple stages at the event, and children can go from country to country to get special “passports” stamped to become a “citizen of the world.”
There is also a section for beer and wine for adults.
“The International Festival is a wonderful annual tradition for the Triangle,” said Clodagh Lyons-Bastian, executive director of International Focus. “Since the venues are produced by our local ethnic communities, it's really the only event that brings all our diverse citizens together to celebrate and connect in friendship. Fifty-eight of the area's international groups are participating this year with representation from all corners of the globe.
“We're really excited about all the features at this year's International Festival. From world-class international music and dancing to kids' activities, shopping, and great food, there's something for everyone to enjoy.”
“We're very excited to partner with the 27th International Festival and look forward to creating a unique experience for visitors that stop by our booth,” said Robby Thomas, Director of Marketing for NBC-17. “We've learned from Band Together that there are many incredible local organizations doing great things here in our community and we want to celebrate them whenever we can.”