Skip to main content

World Showcase

09/04/2014 11:28AM, Published by Annette Winter, Categories: Entertainment



Gallery: Annual International Folk Festival [14 Images] Click any image to expand.



By Miriam Landru

F

ayetteville may be the All-America City, but make no mistake, it’s home to many different cultures that span our planet Earth. Being home to Fort Bragg and also having a great, central location on the East Coast makes our city become a destination and home for many. Because of this, having an international festival celebrating these countries and cultures is a must.

The International Folk Festival is now in its 36th year. The Fayetteville Downtown Partnership Inc. was the prior sponsor until disbandment. Thereafter, the festival was left in limbo, “until The Arts Council stepped up to save it,” expressed Dr. Monte Hill, who represents the island nation of the Philippines with his family. They assumed sponsorship in September of 1999. And today, the IFF is undoubtedly The Arts Council’s main event of the year. 

The Arts Council demonstrates sensitivity to the importance and value of the festival. They do their job in “stimulating community development through the arts,” a part of their mantra. The International Folk Festival is community development, in the most organic sense, as it brings people from different backgrounds together for the common goal of promoting and educating others on their unique heritage.

Dr. Monte Hill has been participating in the festival with his family since the early 1980s. A retired political science professor from UNC Pembroke, Dr. Hill garnered an interest in the “Treasure Islands of the Pacific,” as a child while living in Oregon. He came into contact with Filipinos who worked in the railroad industry. “I was fascinated by them,” he said. From there, Dr. Hill majored in Asian Studies at The University of New Mexico and met his wife and mother of their five children during his doctoral studies at The University of the Philippines Diliman in Quezon City. He also speaks his wife’s native language of Tagalog (ta-ga-low). 

Dr. Hill and his family began their involvement with the IFF when they moved to the area in 1982 and were introduced to Gloria Canonizado, a local icon in Fayetteville's Filipino-American community and a famous folk dancer in her native country. Canonizado has been a part of the festival since its inception in 1978.

“The festival has gotten so much larger and has had many changes in sponsorship,” Dr. Hill stressed. Current sponsors include The Fayetteville Observer, Coca-Cola, R.A. Jeffreys Distributing Company, Cape Fear Eye Associates, ZipQuest, the city of Fayetteville, Cumberland County and the North Carolina Arts Council. Because of this, the festival is free…but native wares and foods like Dr. Hill’s favorite Filipino BBQ shish kabob is only a small extra fee.

While you could say Dr. Hill “married” into the Filipino Community, Joanne Hunt was born into the Italian way of life. A third generation Italian-American and president of the local chapter of Sons of Italy, Hunt grew up exposed to the flavors, language and culture of her motherland. Though she herself cannot speak the “language of amore,” her knowledge and love of Italy trump that small fact. “We grew up with it. We are authentic. We grew up with our heritage. We do have people straight from Italy who joined our group and they do have the accents. The festival goers that come to our booth love to hear their accents!” Hunt chuckled. A Pittsburgh, Philadelphia native, she moved here in the late 1980s with her military husband and family and found the Sons of Italy through attending the IFF. I thought to myself, “Oh my gosh! There’s Italians down here, so that’s why I joined.”

Hunt’s favorite part of the festival is the real sense of community she has being around all of the participants from different countries and also…the pizza. “I don’t typically enjoy pizza. But there’s just something about the kinds we have at our booth during the festival. It’s so good. It’s my favorite,” she confessed. She also enjoys the food from other countries like Great Britain and Germany who each have scrumptious dessert spreads. 

Crossing the Atlantic and heading down south to the water off the shore of South America is the island nation of Grenada. Known as the “spice island” due to their love of cooking with fragrant spices like curry, this West Indian country has about 20 natives and descendants who have been participating in the festival for a decade. 

“The most important thing about our culture is our food, music and religion…Christianity,” explained Shirley Noel, a native Grenadian who has lived in the U.S. for the last 30 years. Noel is most looking forward to feeding festivalgoers the spicy and savory flavors from her home. At this year’s IFF, check out their booth with local dishes such as stewed oxtails, curry chicken and curry goat as well as the ever-popular Caribbean plate of rice and beans. Noel is most looking forward to serving the national dish of Grenada, “Oil Down,” which is a stewed one-pot meal of salted meat, chicken, dumplings, breadfruit and callaloo all stewed together in herbs, spices and coconut milk.

 Because of the outdoor location of downtown Fayetteville and Festival Park, there is plenty of room for the 31 countries and cultures represented at the IFF to share their heritage and spread love and unity with Fayettevillians, young and old.

Experience the 36th Annual International Folk Festival from September 26th-28th and experience these great countries, cultures, tastes and sounds that have helped weave the tapestry of our country…America! 

To learn more, contact Mary Kinney at the Arts Council at maryk@theartscouncil.com.



  • Classic Nashville Roadshow

    01/20/2017
    02:00PM — 04:00PM

    Classic Nashville Roadshow brings you some of the most unforgettable songs in country history jus...


  • Fayetteville FireAntz Game

    01/20/2017
    07:30PM

    Come see the Fayetteville FireAntz, a professional minor-league hockey team, battle it out agains...


  • Classic Nashville Roadshow

    01/20/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    Classic Nashville Roadshow brings you some of the most unforgettable songs in country history jus...


  • Tai Chi for Health

    01/24/2017
    10:00AM

    Practice this flowing eastern exercise with instructor Rich Martin while overlooking the Garden. ...


It looks like we don't have any events for this date. You can always add an event.

  • Slimming Event: Chance to Win!

    01/26/2017
    09:00AM — 11:00AM

    Get your girlfriends together for this fun and informative event and a chance to win a FREE sessi...


  • Classic Nashville Roadshow

    01/26/2017
    02:00PM — 04:00PM

    Classic Nashville Roadshow brings you some of the most unforgettable songs in country history jus...


  • The Museum of the Cape Fear will sponsor the 16th Annual Civil War Quiz Bowl. Contestants will te...


  • Hang Out Thursdays & Social Ballroom Dance

    01/26/2017
    07:00PM — 11:00PM

    Come join the fun every 4th Thursday of the month! Hang Out Thursdays & Social Ballroom Dance V...


  • Handel: Water Music

    01/26/2017
    07:30PM

    Thursday, January 26th, 2017 | 7:30pm St. John’s Episcopal Church 302 Green St., Fayetteville, ...


  • Fall in love with The Little Mermaid all over again, featuring Ariel, Sebastian and more in this ...


  • Classic Nashville Roadshow

    01/20/2017
    02:00PM — 04:00PM

    Classic Nashville Roadshow brings you some of the most unforgettable songs in country history jus...


  • Fayetteville FireAntz Game

    01/20/2017
    07:30PM

    Come see the Fayetteville FireAntz, a professional minor-league hockey team, battle it out agains...


  • Classic Nashville Roadshow

    01/20/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    Classic Nashville Roadshow brings you some of the most unforgettable songs in country history jus...


  • Yoga for Runners

    01/21/2017
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    Join The Runners Spot & Clare from Clarityoga for a yoga clinic for runners on January 21st at 9:...


  • Be a part of Fayetteville’s newest premier event, Fayetteville’s Ultimate Lip Sync Showdown, to b...


  • Exploring Vegan Options Food Education Event

    01/21/2017
    02:00PM — 04:00PM

    Join local vegan chef, Ameen Brooks, for this introductory workshop on veganism! This is the perf...


  • Fall in love with The Little Mermaid all over again, featuring Ariel, Sebastian and more in this ...


  • Fayetteville FireAntz Game

    01/21/2017
    07:30PM

    Come see the Fayetteville FireAntz, a professional minor-league hockey team, battle it out agains...


  • Classic Nashville Roadshow

    01/21/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    Classic Nashville Roadshow brings you some of the most unforgettable songs in country history jus...


  • Be a part of Fayetteville’s newest premier event, Fayetteville’s Ultimate Lip Sync Showdown, to b...


  • Classic Nashville Roadshow

    01/22/2017
    02:00PM — 04:00PM

    Classic Nashville Roadshow brings you some of the most unforgettable songs in country history jus...


  • Hot Chocolate 4 Miler

    01/22/2017
    04:00PM — 05:00PM

    Who doesn't love a hot cup of cocoa on those cold winter days? We sure do! Join The Runners Spot ...


  • The HappyFeet League is on weekends. It is offered to children ages 2-6 years old. Each game ...


  • Tai Chi for Health

    01/24/2017
    10:00AM

    Practice this flowing eastern exercise with instructor Rich Martin while overlooking the Garden. ...


  • Slimming Event: Chance to Win!

    01/26/2017
    09:00AM — 11:00AM

    Get your girlfriends together for this fun and informative event and a chance to win a FREE sessi...


  • Classic Nashville Roadshow

    01/26/2017
    02:00PM — 04:00PM

    Classic Nashville Roadshow brings you some of the most unforgettable songs in country history jus...


  • Hang Out Thursdays & Social Ballroom Dance

    01/26/2017
    07:00PM — 11:00PM

    Come join the fun every 4th Thursday of the month! Hang Out Thursdays & Social Ballroom Dance V...


  • The Museum of the Cape Fear will sponsor the 16th Annual Civil War Quiz Bowl. Contestants will te...


  • Fall in love with The Little Mermaid all over again, featuring Ariel, Sebastian and more in this ...


  • Handel: Water Music

    01/26/2017
    07:30PM

    Thursday, January 26th, 2017 | 7:30pm St. John’s Episcopal Church 302 Green St., Fayetteville, ...


  • 5th Annual Evening of Excellence & Expo

    01/27/2017
    12:00PM — 08:00PM

    You are cordially invited to the biggest beauty & aesthetics event in North Carolina!  View the e...


  • Classic Nashville Roadshow

    01/27/2017
    02:00PM — 04:00PM

    Classic Nashville Roadshow brings you some of the most unforgettable songs in country history jus...


  • Classic Nashville Roadshow

    01/27/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    Classic Nashville Roadshow brings you some of the most unforgettable songs in country history jus...


  • Birthday Dance & Potluck

    01/27/2017
    09:00PM — 01:00AM

    Celebrate your birthday month with others every 4th Friday of the month! Birthday dance & potluc...


  • CountrySide's All American Dream Meet

    01/28/2017
    08:00AM — 10:00PM

    January 28 & 29, 2017 Off-Site Location: Reid Ross Classical School 3200 Ramsey Street Faye...


  • Classic Nashville Roadshow

    01/28/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    Classic Nashville Roadshow brings you some of the most unforgettable songs in country history jus...


  • CountrySide's All American Dream Meet

    01/29/2017
    08:00AM — 08:00PM

    January 28 & 29, 2017 Off-Site Location: Reid Ross Classical School 3200 Ramsey Street Faye...


  • Soup & Sandwich Fundraiser

    01/29/2017
    12:15PM

    All are welcome to join us for this delicious fundraiser to make our church handicap accessible. ...


  • Classic Nashville Roadshow

    01/29/2017
    02:00PM — 04:00PM

    Classic Nashville Roadshow brings you some of the most unforgettable songs in country history jus...


  • Child Trafficking Forum

    01/30/2017
    06:30PM

    The Child Advocacy Center and the Fayetteville Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc...


  • The HappyFeet League is on weekends. It is offered to children ages 2-6 years old. Each game ...


  • Tai Chi for Health

    01/31/2017
    10:00AM

    Practice this flowing eastern exercise with instructor Rich Martin while overlooking the Garden. ...


  • Fall in love with The Little Mermaid all over again, featuring Ariel, Sebastian and more in this ...


  • Classic Nashville Roadshow

    02/02/2017
    02:00PM — 04:00PM

    Classic Nashville Roadshow brings you some of the most unforgettable songs in country history jus...


  • Classic Nashville Roadshow

    02/03/2017
    02:00PM — 04:00PM

    Classic Nashville Roadshow brings you some of the most unforgettable songs in country history jus...


  • Super Bowl Pub Run

    02/03/2017
    06:30PM — 08:30PM

    Wear your favorite Football Jersey and go for a 2 mile run/walk or 3.5 mile run/walk. We will be...


  • Fayetteville FireAntz Game

    02/03/2017
    07:30PM

    Come see the Fayetteville FireAntz, a professional minor-league hockey team, battle it out agains...


  • Didg Revolution is composed of Darren Liebman, Rob Thomas, and Tanya Gerard. Thomas and Gerard ar...


  • Classic Nashville Roadshow

    02/03/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    Classic Nashville Roadshow brings you some of the most unforgettable songs in country history jus...


  • Fall in love with The Little Mermaid all over again, featuring Ariel, Sebastian and more in this ...


  • Fayetteville FireAntz Game

    02/04/2017
    07:30PM

    Come see the Fayetteville FireAntz, a professional minor-league hockey team, battle it out agains...


  • Classic Nashville Roadshow

    02/04/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    Classic Nashville Roadshow brings you some of the most unforgettable songs in country history jus...


  • Classic Nashville Roadshow

    02/05/2017
    02:00PM — 04:00PM

    Classic Nashville Roadshow brings you some of the most unforgettable songs in country history jus...


  • 5k Beginner Running Series

    02/05/2017
    04:00PM — 05:00PM

    4 week Training series: Let the Runners Spot help you train for your 1st 5k this year. This is ...


  • Tai Chi for Health

    02/07/2017
    10:00AM

    Practice this flowing eastern exercise with instructor Rich Martin while overlooking the Garden. ...


  • Free Diabetes Clinic

    02/08/2017
    09:30AM — 12:00PM

    Better Health will offer a free diabetes clinic at the Spring Lake Senior Center, located on 301 ...


  • The HappyFeet League is on weekends. It is offered to children ages 2-6 years old. Each game ...


  • The David McCune International Art Gallery at Methodist University will host a photography exhibi...


  • Fall in love with The Little Mermaid all over again, featuring Ariel, Sebastian and more in this ...


CityView Facebook
CityView Family Facebook