Talk of the Town: Broaden your world at the Columbia International Festival

Talk of the Town: Columbia International Festival
Updated: Apr. 10, 2018 at 12:44 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - You have the chance to broaden your world this weekend at the 23rd Columbia International Festival. 

Dr. Raj Aluri is the president of International Friendship Ministries and is the director of the festival.

"The Columbia International Festival showcases the music, culture, food and performing arts of the various cultures, nationalities, races and language groups represented in South Carolina," Aluri said. "The event brings all of the area's international communities together to build better community/race relations between various ethnic/cultural/language groups and with the South Carolina community at large."

The festival has been recognized among the Top 20 Events in the 10-State Southeastern Region by the Southeastern Tourism Society in 1999 and 2000.

It is the largest yearly international event in South Carolina and neighboring states.

The indoor event is attended by 17,000 – 22,000 people every year.

Learn about the cultural heritages of more than 60 countries displayed by their foreign-born hosts through pictures, artifacts, and many other items.

There's an International Food Court on Saturday & Sunday where you can sample the exotic flavors of foreign cuisines from around the world.

Throughout each festival day, groups representing many countries will delight you with staged performances of their national dances. 

You can enjoy this show of the traditional costumes which uniquely garb people from around the world.  

And you can shop the many booths for authentic clothing, crafts, jewelry, and souvenirs imported from around the world.

Director Aluri also says you'll learn how to do something new like origami, use chopsticks, write in another script, play other cultural games, say hello, thank you, goodbye, or count in another language.

Traditionally dressed representatives from nearly 100 countries will proudly present their home country's flag at the 2 p.m. Saturday parade.

Festival Times:
Saturday, April 14: 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, April 15: 12 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Admission Tickets:

$7 Admission

Children 12 & Under FREE!

Active Duty Military Personnel get FREE admission with ID card!


$5 per vehicle at Gate 12 (charged by State Fairgrounds)

For more details, go to the Columbia International Festival website. 

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