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International Folk Festival to bring music, food, fun to downtown Fayetteville


With a taste of cool autumn weather in the air, Fayetteville is taking it to the streets this weekend.

Cultural artistry and cuisines from around the world will be celebrated Friday through Sunday during the 44th annual International Folk Festival at Festival Park and throughout downtown.

The signature Parade of Nations will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday.

More than 30 cultural groups representing every corner of the globe will gather to celebrate the diverse heritage of the community, according to a news release from the festival’s organizer, the Arts Council of Fayetteville-Cumberland County.

Admission is free. 

The Folk Festival will kick off from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday with musicians, artists and vendors celebrating Hispanic culture at Fiesta Latina.

Performers will include Moises Inostroza, DJ Heaven Knows, and Jimmy Roman. A food truck rodeo will be staged at the Arts Council, and a beer garden will be open on Anderson Street.

Also Friday is an opening reception for this year’s Heritage Exhibit, “Faces of Colombia: The Invisible Communities.” The exhibit features works by Donna Slade. The reception will be from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Arts Council on Hay Street.

Slade traveled to Colombia as part of a volunteer peace delegation with Witness for Peace, according to the Arts Council news release. She wanted to show how conditions under an oppressive government have created violence, displacement and economic insecurity, particularly among Afro-Colombian and Indigenous people. 

The exhibit will be open through Oct. 29.

On Saturday, the Friends of Civil Affairs will sponsor the Around the World Run, raising money for a scholarship fund. The run will be in-person and virtual. The live 5K race begins at Cape Fear Botanical Garden, 536 N. Eastern Blvd. Registration opens at 6:30 a.m., and the 5K starts at 7:30 a.m.

From 9 to 10 a.m. Saturday, a pre-parade showcase will feature music and dance.

The parade will feature festive floats and performers in vibrant, traditional costumes.

Cultural groups that will participate represent the Army Ground Forces Band, Hawaii, Native America, Guam/Marianas Islands, Puerto Rico, Fayetteville State University international students, UNC-Pembroke, Belize, Caribbean American Connection, India, Azerbaijan, Latin dance, Ghana, Scotland, Spice Islands, Colombia, Japan, Jamaica, Spain, Okinawa, Greece, Brazil, Nigeria, Panama, Mexico, Venezuela, Korea, Nicaragua, Philippines, Honduras, and Ireland.

Authentic international cuisines that are inspired by traditional recipes from every corner of the world.

International vendors from around the world will represent the cuisine of Thailand, India, Peru, France, Belize, the Caribbean, Philippines, and Jamaica.

Juried art vendors and crafters will showcase ceramics, drawings, glass, jewelry, metalwork, fabrics, photography, sculptures, and more.

Live music, dance and performance exhibitions will include an array of talent.

Performers will include magician Tain Collins, Native American Cultural Showcase, N.C. Brazilian Arts Project, Silver Drummer Girl, Colombian Takiri Group, Jef the Mime, Animatrixx Break Dancing, Balloon Twister, Airborne Aerialists, Musical Wanderer Alex Weiss, Africa Unplugged drum ensemble, SERNC Poetry Showcase, Fayetteville Latin Dance, Japan Martial Arts, Okinawa Drummers, Dreamville Dance Company, El Cardenal, Kenya Safari Acrobats, and Phreedom Healing Sound Healer.

International recording artist Kojo Antwi will perform live in concert at 3 p.m. Sunday at Festival Park.

Kids World of Wonder will celebrate the artistic expressions of youth through cultural activities, arts and crafts, character appearances, international storytelling, music and dance.

Activities will include Latino, African and Japanese storytelling; a climbing wall; magic shows; face painting; and more.

Fayetteville, International Folk Festival, entertainment, downtown