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International Festival brings world focus to southeast Georgia

Southeast Georgia will take on a world-wide focus Saturday, Nov. 11, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. during the second annual International Festival. Held at Mill Creek Regional Park in Statesboro, the festival includes a Global Village featuring educational booths created by area middle school students, an international bazaar, international sports and games, international culinary delights, and the T-Mobile World Stage, this year highlighted by the spectacular dance troupe, The Legends of West Africa.

‘The sponsors created this day to provide a positive, interactive environment that respects and values the cultural heritage of everyone who takes part,” said festival coordinator Angie Threatte, who represents Georgia Southern University’s Center for International Studies. ‘The festival promotes cross-cultural awareness by engaging the audience in international activities. We invite people of all nationalities and heritages throughout southeast Georgia to come and enjoy the food, the activities, and the fun!”

The International Festival is a collaborative effort among the Statesboro-Bulloch County Parks and Recreation Department, the Statesboro-Bulloch County Chamber of Commerce, the Statesboro Convention and Visitors Bureau, the City of Statesboro, Bulloch County Commissioners, the Bulloch County Board of Education, and Georgia Southern University.

Students from middle schools in Bulloch, Emanuel, and Screven Counties will join with Global Ambassador students from Georgia Southern to create country booths for this year’s Global Village, which will feature history, information, and artifacts from Brazil, Canada, China, Ecuador, Gabon, Germany, Hungary, India, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Nigeria, Panama, and Russia.

The T-Mobile World Stage performances begin at 10:00 a.m. with a Thai dance group. At 10:30 the Magical Fires of Polynesia take the stage, followed by the Chinese Student and Scholars’ Association performing Tai Chi. At 11:45 a.m. the Statesboro’s Mayor Pro Tem, Joe Brannen, will make opening remarks and lead off the Parade of Nations. The Inishfree Irish Dancers perform at noon, followed by French musicians and singers Jean-Paul and Dominique Carton at 1:00 p.m. At 1:30 p.m. Rosario Navarro, a member of the Awalim Dance Company, demonstrates the art of belly dancing, and at 2:00 p.m., the Mahour World Music Ensemble takes the stage.

At 3:00 p.m. The Legends of West Africa, an internationally renowned dance troup, takes the stage to show traditional African costumes, ancient instruments and their modern relatives, and dancers who flip, spin, and leap across the stage. The dancers will also share stories of traditional village life in West Africa.

Sponsors for this year’s International Festival are T-Mobile, Target, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro-Bulloch Parks and Recreation, BB&T, Ranco Tents, Coca-Cola, Sea Island Bank, The Heritage Bank, Gailey Trophy, Trellis Garden Inn, Days Inn, Hackers Golf Park, Kiwanis Club, Downtown Rotary Club of Statesboro, Cleve White Nissan, Farmers and Merchants Bank, The Teaching Tree, and ConnectStatesboro.com.

For more information about the International Festival, visit the Festival Web site at http://academics.georgiasouthern.edu/international/Festival/festival.htm or contact Angie Threatte at 912-681-0570 or athreatte@georgiasouthern.edu.

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