Open Your Heart, Open Your Mind, Open the World

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2018 International Festival

The 33rd Annual International Festival of Raleigh
October 26-28, 2018
School Field Trip Program: Friday Oct 26 - opening at 9:00 am

Three days of international performances, food, games, art, cultural exhibits and shopping at the Raleigh Convention Center. Over 50 Triangle ethnic communities ranging from Afghan to Vietnamese participate to showcase their cuisine, dance, and music; to share traditions and to celebrate the Triangle’s unique diversity.

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Friday, October 26:Naturalization Ceremony 10:30AM – 12PM, Festival 12PM to 10PM
Saturday, October 27: Festival 10AM to 10PM
Sunday, October 28:  Festival 12PM to 6PM


Naturalization Ceremony: Approximately 250 people representing over 80 countries will become United States citizens at a moving citizenship ceremony. The ceremony is the traditional grand opening of the festival each year and features municipal and state-wide dignitary speakers.

Main Stage: Ethnic and folkloric dances performed by artists in authentic dress. Children, teens and adults present their cultural dances throughout the weekend.

Biergarten Stage: Bands and musical performances from around the world. 

Sophia’s Corner: International games, face-painting, passport scavenger hunt, puppet shows, storytelling, and other fun activities, such as mask-making, saree demonstration, and ethnic crafts.

Cultural Exhibits: Exhibits created by local ethnic communities tell about their traditions and histories and invite visitors to engage in activities and learning. This year's theme is "CELEBRATIONS AROUND THE WORLD".

Sidewalk Cafés: Mini-restaurants created to look like a building in the respective country serve delicious, authentic food from around the world. 

Bazaars: Shopping for global arts, crafts, fashion, jewlery, toys and much more.

Demonstration Booths: Interactive demos and classes on international cooking, dance, crafts, and more.

Passport Program: Young (and old) attendees ‘travel the world’ to find the answers to cultural questions, get their passport stamped, and become a CITIZEN OF THE WORLD.

International Field Trip: Schools from around the state come to the festival on an International Field Trip with reduced admission. Sidewalk Café food vendors offer international menus at $5 or less, allowing the students to enjoy diverse cultural exhibitions and lunch for under $10. 

Art Exhibition: Bob Rankin, lifetime friend and artist behind the colorful festival posters, displays his artwork, paints, signs his posters, and interacts with the public. This year we feature a gallery of Bob's festival posters from the last three decades.


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