North Central College - Naperville, IL

Visitors invited to annual International Festival Feb. 14

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

Jan. 18, 2010--North Central College invites people of all ages to experience the many cultures from around the world and in the community at the College's 14th Annual International Festival on Feb. 14. Visitors can sample authentic international cuisine, enjoy ethnic dancing to live music and join in on games and crafts from around the world.

This year's festival will take place from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 14, at North Central's Merner Field House, 450 S. Brainard St., Naperville. Admission is $5 at the door; children 3 and under are free. All proceeds support North Central College scholarships for international study.

Naperville Mayor George Pradel will open the festival. Throughout the afternoon, performances are planned by international groups that span the globe, including the Nartan Indian Dance Group, Wisla Polish Dancers, McNulty Irish Dancers, Weber Irish Dancers, Aikido Club, Ray Chinese School, a Flamenco dancer (photo, left), an Egyptian dancer, World Performance Team (acrobats), SOKOL and an International Club fashion show. The Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana and Boy Scout Troop No. 8 will perform an international flag ceremony.

Visitors can also experience interactive and fun booths that are hosted by several community organizations. The groups include 10,000 Villages, Language Stars, Aikido Club of Glen Ellyn, Ray Chinese School, McNulty Irish Club, SOKOL, NW Student Exchange, Polish Friends of Naperville and AFS-USA of Greater Chicago. In addition, five North Central College student organizations--Fusion Española, Asian Student Konnection (ASK) Club, Students In Free Enterprise, German Club and Japan Club--will have booths where visitors can learn about other cultures.

The popular immersion rooms will be part of the festival again this year. Visitors can experience French, German, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, Italian and Spanish languages and cultures with teachers who are native speakers and North Central students fluent in the language. Advance registration for the language rooms is encouraged; call 630-637-5132.

Authentic cuisine, prepared and catered by My Chef, and soft drinks will be available for purchase. A designated craft area will also be set up for children to enjoy.

For the second year, a shoe drive to benefit Share Your Soles will be part of the event. All attendees are encouraged to bring their slightly used shoes to benefit Share Your Soles, a nonprofit organization that provides gently worn shoes to those in greatest need around the world. For more information visit

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

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