By ANGIE CARNATHAN
The World Neighbor’s Association’s 22nd Annual International Fiesta will begin at 11 a.m. on Saturday. This free event is held on the Drill Field at Mississippi State University (rain location is the Sanderson Auxiliary Gym.)
Program Coordinator for the Holmes Cultural Diversity Center Brea Roth said the purpose of the event is to exemplify the international cultures of MSU, Starkville and the Golden Triangle area.
“The Fiesta will feature culturally authentic food, games and entertainment all day long,” Roth said. “The International Fiesta is a wonderful opportunity for students and families to submerge themselves in different cultures while having a great time.”
WNA Treasurer Ruth de la Cruz said the event offers lots to do and see, including a Parade of Flags, song and dance entertainment and the crowning of the Mr. and Miss International Fiesta by Mayor Parker Wiseman and Starkville’s first lady Lindsay Wiseman.
WNA Vice President Joan Mylroie said the International Fiesta is a great way for people to get a local taste of cultures from all over the world.
“People could spend a lot of money and travel around the world or they could come to the International Fiesta and meet people from around the world for free,” Mylroie said.
Mylroie said the event is a wonderful opportunity to immerse all the senses into a global experience.
“You will see, hear, smell and taste all parts of the world,” Mylroie said. “It’s an amazing opportunity to learn about the world. And the food is wonderful, so don’t forget your lunch money.”
Mylroie said she believes in these days of globalization, people need to know each other.
“Take time to talk to some of our visitors to MSU and Starkville, ask them questions, learn from them, welcome them to our ‘hospitality state,” Mylroie said.
Mylroie said the public is encouraged to not only attend the International Fiesta but to participate.
“Please come at 10:40 a.m. to be part of the Parade of Flags,” Mylroie said. “The parade will start in front of Allen Hall at precisely 11 a.m., and those who wish to join in should come early to get a flag. Wear an international costume if you have one; if not, just come as you are. Persons of all ages are encouraged to participate.”
Children’s activities include inflatable jumpers, pinatas, face painting and games.
2012 International Fiesta participants include African Student Association, Bangladesh Association of MSU, Filipino Student Association, MSU German Club, MSU Hispanic Student Association, Indian Student Association, International Education Office, Iranian Student Association, MSU Japanese Club, Korean Student Association, Muslim Student Association, Native American Student Association, Sri Lankan Student Association and the Nepalese Student Association. The mission of the World Neighbor’s Association is international sharing and caring.
The purpose is to facilitate activities that promote intercultural exchange between international students and community residents. The WNA would like to thank Copy Cow, Casa Brava, Campus Bookstore, the International Institute and Benji Mikel for their sponsorship.
WNA is a non-profit organization, and active membership counts as community service. Annual membership is $10 for single and $15 for family membership
For more information about how you can join the World Neighbor’s Association, visit http://www.neighbors.org