Gustavus International Festival

Taylor Storlien-

This year’s International Festival, sponsored by the International Cultures Club (ICC), will be taking place this Saturday, March 9th from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. in Alumni Hall. It will be open to both the Gustavus Community and the public. Not only will there be student performances, but also professional entertainment. Previous years have included an international fashion show with traditional wear from countries such as Uzbekistan, Nepal, Iceland, Eritrea, Moldova, and Kenya. Performances from student organizations on campus have also been a staple throughout the years such as the Korean Culture Club (KCC), the Organization for Latinx-American Students (OLAS), and the Pan-African Student Organization (PASO). Student performances range from vocal performances to traditional, modern, or folk dances. Last year’s professional entertainment was Cypherside, a Saint Paul dance studio that specializes in hip-hop, break dance, and K-pop dance.

This year’s special guest performers will not be revealed until the festival, but it is confirmed that there will be “three performance groups coming from the Twin Cities,” ICC Co-President and Senior Celeste Thalhammer said. When it comes to planning an event like this, it can be an extensive process: “This festival can take up to 2 months to plan, it has a lot of details and parts involved in the planning of it,” Thalhammer said.

International Cultures Club is a “student organization that brings international and U.S. students together to promote international awareness and appreciation of different cultures,” according to the Gustavus website. They organize many events that center around a variety of cultures that are open to the Gustavus community while also providing opportunities for interaction between other cultural organizations at other academic institutions.

The International Festival is one of the most prominent events that ICC sponsors. Senior Secretary Monarch Fuhrman decided to join ICC based on their enjoyment of the event: “I decided to join ICC because I have absolutely loved attending the International Festival while at GAC. Before attending those events I had never been to a place where so many different people and cultures were celebrated together,” Fuhrman said. The International Festival always has a variety of countries and cultures featured, combining entertainment with education. “My favorite part of the International Festival is getting to see the performers every year and listening to the singers. I love the feeling of a glimpse into a different culture I otherwise wouldn’t have been exposed to,” Junior Alexa Densmore said.

To encourage involvement, previous years have had a passport activity where attendees have a passport they are given that gets stamped at every station they visit, which enters them into a drawing. “This event is a one-of-a-kind event for Gustavus students and the Gustavus community to experience cultures from around the world,” Thalhammer said. Feel free to come and support your fellow Gusties!

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