The International Folklore Festival returns to Fayetteville. What to expect

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Next to a two year break Due to the pandemic, Fayetteville’s celebration of diversity, the International Folk Festival, will return to downtown in September.

This is the 44th year of the festival.

“We are just thrilled with the festival,” said Antonio Renteria, operations director at Fayetteville Arts Council. “The community is full of energy and ready to see things happen. The International Folklore Festival plays such an important role in bringing the community together and showcasing the diversity of Fayetteville.”

When is the International Folklore Festival?

The festival is a two-day free event from September 24-25. The festival will begin with the Parade of Nations, a parade featuring approximately 30 cultural groups, at 10 a.m. on September 24. The festival runs from noon to 7 p.m. each day.

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“The parade is an explosion,” Renteria said. “We typically have partnerships with over 30 different partners, nations and cultural groups who come to represent us.”

Events and activities

The event includes international food, arts and crafts vendors, live entertainment and a children’s area.

World of Wonder Youth, the children’s space, will include arts and crafts from different nations, a climbing wall, rotating shows, magicians and stilt walkers, according to Renteria. The festival typically has 40-60 art vendors in its Cultural ARTS Market.

In addition to art vendors, there will also be live art.

“We’ll have live acrylic art, spray art, we’ll do live chalk art so we can kind of see what’s happening with the art as it goes “, Renteria said.

Sonny Guerrero, left to right, Cecille Guerrero, Kuinanialoha Rivera, Jasmarie Barbadillo and Lahela Barbadillo pose for photos in Hawaiian dress in 2022.

Kuinanialoha Rivera, founder of Aloha Ka’naka O Hula Halau Hawaiian/Polynesian dance group, said she was thrilled to have the festival back and be a part of it.

“It’s good to know they’re back in action,” Rivera said. “Every summer people like to watch us because we deliver different Pacific Island dances (and) entertain them and they enjoy it. It’s amazing.”

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Rivera said it was important for her to share her culture with others.

A partnership to celebrate Latin Heritage Month

This year the Fayetteville Arts Council will also partner with Cool Springs Downtown District for the first time for its Fourth Friday event and to celebrate Latin Heritage Month.

“We are thrilled to partner with the International Folk Festival and on Friday, September 23, bring a Latin Heritage Festival to downtown Fayetteville,” said Bianca Shoneman, President and CEO of Cool Springs Downtown District. . “We will have special music, food trucks and performances consistent with Latin Heritage Month.”

Fourth Friday is 6-9 p.m. on September 23.

The International Folk Festival 2019 had about 75,000 attendees, and Renteria said they expect between 50,000 and 75,000 this year.

There is still room for food and art vendors, international bands and commercial vendors to be part of the festival. The application deadline for vendors and groups is August 31. Those interested can visit the Arts Council website.

Editor Akira Kyles can be reached at [email protected]


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