Naudia Brown, 9, left, is served a piece of chocolate and caramel cake by Maria Gabriel during the 2010 International Festival of Cultures at Nash Community College.

Telegram file photo / Alan Campbell

Naudia Brown, 9, left, is served a piece of chocolate and caramel cake by Maria Gabriel during the 2010 International Festival of Cultures at Nash Community College.

International Festival to offer food, dancing, fun for all

By Brie Handgraaf

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A wide variety of cultures and ethnicities will converge Saturday on Nash Community College and everyone is invited to join.

“I like to tell people the International Festival is a chance to travel around the world in about four hours as people highlight the attire, food and entertainment from their native cultures,” Rocky Mount Human Relations Director Archie Jones said.

Organizations representing about 10 cultures will have displays set up from noon to 4 p.m. in Brown Auditorium at Nash Community College. Some groups will be singing and performing dance routines while others will have free food on-hand for people to try.

“I would say the food tastings and the entertainment go hand-in-hand for people’s favorite parts of the event,” Jones said.

The International Festival of Cultures has been an annual event for several decades, sponsored by the city of Rocky Mount, the city’s Martin Luther King Jr. Commission and Nash Community College.

“It provides these groups an opportunity to show the community things about their culture that normally wouldn’t be seen,” Jones said. “When people share, people have a better understanding of one another.”

Typically about 1,000 people attend the event that also features food from local businesses.

“The last couple of years, the participation has been outstanding,” Jones said. “The community has really supported this event throughout the years.”

Representatives from several Latin American countries will join Japanese, Indian, Malaysian and Jamaican participants at the event.

“There are a lot of things that make people different, but we also have similarities,” Jones said. “This event gives people the chance to better understand others.”