North Central College - Naperville, IL

International Festival is Feb. 13

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Dancers with the Nartan Indian Academy of Dance
Dancers with the Nartan Indian Academy of Dance

Contact: Nancy Dunker, associate director of public relations, 630-637-5306

Jan. 20, 2011—North Central College will host its 15th Annual International Festival on Feb. 13, offering the community an opportunity to become immersed in a variety of cultures from across the globe. During the festival, visitors can sample authentic international cuisine, enjoy ethnic dancing and live music, experience a language immersion room and take part in games and crafts from around the world.

The “Around the Corner, Around the World” festival will take place from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 13, at North Central’s Merner Field House, 450 S. Brainard St., Naperville. Doors open at 11:45 a.m. Admission is $5 at the door; children 3 and under are free. Food from an international menu will be available for purchase, as well as raffle tickets to win prizes. All proceeds support North Central College scholarships for international study.

Naperville Mayor A. George Pradel and North Central College President Harold R. Wilde will open the festival, along with the Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and North Central cheerleaders participating in an international flag ceremony.

Throughout the afternoon, performances are planned by international groups, including the Nartan Indian Academy of Dance, Wisla Polish Dancers, McNulty Irish Dancers, Weber School of Irish Dance, Ray Chinese School, a Flamenco dancer, Egyptian dancer, Sokol, Lopas Indian Dance Group, Xilin Chinese Academy dancers and Sharkey’s Karate Studios.

The intercultural experience also features a lion dance and interactive and fun booths that are hosted by several community organizations. The groups include Naperville Cultural Center, Sokol, Ten Thousand Villages, Language Stars, Glen Ellyn Aikido Club, Ray Chinese School, Polish Friends of Naperville, DuPage Children’s Museum, McNulty Irish Club, India Development Coalition of America, Cultural Care Au Pair, Naperville North High School Spectrum Club, Mid-USA Falun Dafa Association, Elite Martial Arts, Polish School, Naper Settlement/Naperville Heritage Society, Shining Stars Early Learning Center and Rotary Club of Naperville.

The Sister Cities commission of Naperville will introduce Naperville’s newest Sister City, Pátzcuaro, Mexico. In addition, several North Central College student organizations, including Asian Student Konnection, Students In Free Enterprise, International Club, German Club and the Office of International Programs will have activities for children and booths to help educate and promote cultural awareness.

The popular immersion rooms will be part of the festival again this year. Visitors can experience nine different cultures and languages—French, German, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, Italian, Polish, Spanish and Arabic—with teachers who are native speakers and students who are fluent in the language. Advance registration for the 30-minute language rooms is necessary; contact Bessma Shammas at 630-637-5132 or   

Authentic cuisine, prepared and catered by Belgio’s in Naperville, and soft drinks will be available for purchase, ranging from $2 to $5.50. New this year is a raffle for prizes and gift certificates for dining at downtown Naperville. Raffle tickets may be purchased at the festival for $1/ticket or $5/6 tickets.

All attendees are encouraged to bring one canned food item to be donated to Loaves & Fishes food pantry in Naperville.

The festival is co-sponsored by the College’s Office of International Programs and Rotary Club of Naperville. For more information contact the Office of International Programs at 630-637-5132.

Founded in 1861, North Central College is celebrating its Sesquicentennial in 2011. This community event is one of many ongoing programs at the College to enrich and broaden the cultural and academic outlook for the College and community. For a comprehensive schedule of musical performances, theatrical productions, art exhibits and lectures, visit or call the box office at 630-637-SHOW (7469).