January 28, 2019

SIU’s International Festival 2019 features flag parade, food fair and cultural show

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. — The cultural diversity that has long been an integral part of Southern Illinois University Carbondale takes center stage during the popular annual International Festival in February.

“Shaping International Unity” (SIU) is the theme for the 2019 festival. Students from about 100 countries call SIU their “home away from home” and during this festival, they will share a bit of their culture with the region.

Kick-off is Feb. 4

A tradition dating back more than 40 years, the fest launches with the colorful International Parade of flags at 10 a.m. on Feb. 4. International students from around the world, many wearing traditional attire from their home countries, will carry their nation’s flags from Woody Hall to the Student Center’s International Lounge.

There, university and city officials, including Chancellor John M. Dunn and Carbondale Mayor John “Mike” Henry, will sign the official proclamation and open the celebration at 10:30 a.m.

Enjoy international cuisine

The International Food Fair offers a unique opportunity to sample dishes from across the globe. International students, under the supervision of dining services personnel, will prepare an eclectic mix of treats from their countries and from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Feb. 6. Everyone is invited to come taste.

The event, set for the Student Center Ballrooms, typically draws very large crowds.

Food tickets are $1 each and each dish typically takes 3-6 tickets. Or, complete meal options will be available.

Tickets available in advance

You can purchase food fair tickets in advance and avoid waiting in line. Buy tickets at the Student Center’s business office windows, located on the second floor, from Jan. 30 through Feb. 5. The office is open 8 a.m.-4 p.m. daily.

Tickets will also be sold on Feb. 4 and 5 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the first floor at the Student Center near the north escalators.

In addition, tickets can also be purchased at the door. The menu will be posted on the festival website prior to the International Food Fair.

Celebrating cultures through performances

The fest wraps up with a truly worldwide show.

Students from numerous nations will participate in SIU’s Cultural Show at 7 p.m. on Feb. 8 in the Student Center Ballrooms. The event will feature diverse student performances of drama, dance, song and much more.

The show, which is often standing room only, is free and open to the public.

To learn more

For more information about International Festival 2019, look online or call 618/453-5714.