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ODU International Festival Shines Light on Diverse Cultures within Hampton Roads

International Festival

The Ted Constant Convocation Center will soon play host to a melting pot of vibrant cultures found throughout Hampton Roads as thousands of attendees gather for the Old Dominion University International Festival.

The 6th annual event, which attracted 6,000 attendees last year, will be held March 30 from noon to 5 p.m. at the convocation center located on Hampton Boulevard directly across from the ODU main campus. It is free and open to the public.

Festivities officially kick-off at 1 p.m. with opening remarks from International Festival co-sponsors and a color guard presentation from the Academy of International Studies at Rosemont, in Norfolk.

On the main stage, live performances will feature music and dances from the Caribbean, South America, Africa, the United Kingdom, India, Vietnam, Brazil, Spain, Russia, Polynesia, the Middle East, Japan and the United States, among others. A global fashion show will also be featured.

In a children's craft area of the main arena, ODU students will lead family-oriented activities representing the North and South American continents, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Australia and Africa. In addition, educational vendors will include more than 20 local non-profit organizations, schools, community alliances and state agencies.

An international bazaar marketplace will feature clothing, jewelry, handmade items and crafts along with items made in Hampton Roads and around the world.

Outside, the Teeny Tiny Farm, from Elberon, VA, will again be on hand with their popular petting zoo of bunnies, goats, ducks and miniature varieties of a horse, cow, pig, llama and alpaca. For attendees with an exploratory side, Ms. Shelly's Rocks and Gemstone Mining, LLC, will provide gemstone bags with rocks, minerals, fossils and sand to be mined on-site for a small fee.

Because no international festival is complete without global cuisine, food vendors will include: Grapevine Restaurant (Greek), India Palace Restaurant (Indian), Jeepeny Express (Asian Fusion), Caribbean Castle (Caribbean), Scratch Bakery (Cupcakery), Baladi Mediterranean Café (Mediterranean) and Mary-Helen's Place LLC (American Creole).

Official Co-Sponsors for the 2014 ODU International Festival are: the Norfolk and Portsmouth public school systems; the Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority; the Hampton Roads Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; Old Dominion University's Town-N-Gown, NATO ACT (North Atlantic Treaty Organization Allied Command Transformation); and the City of Norfolk Department of Recreation, Parks & Open Space.

For more information about the International Festival, visit the ODU Office of Intercultural Relations website.