This weekend, downtown Athens will experience a bit of a culture shock as the smell of baklava and the sounds of drumming fill the air as part of the annual International Street Fair.
Court Street will become an eclectic melting pot of world cultures as Ohio University wraps up its International Week on Saturday.
More than 30 booths featuring food, crafts and entertainment from around the world will take over Court Street from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“This is a true partnership between the community and Ohio University,” said Amanda Yusco of OU’s Office of International Student and Faculty Services.
Several OU international student groups, community organizations, and other OU groups will share native foods, crafts and knowledge with fair participants.
According to Yusco, about 15 groups will be selling international foods ranging from baklava to Japanese kabobs.
There will also be several nationalities represent on the stage, which will be located at the intersection of Court and Washington Streets. Entertainment will range from belly dancers, world drumming, traditional dancers and a performance by Boys of the Hock’.
“The festival will showcase diversity,” Yusco said.
She said each booth will have free interactive activities, such as trivia and games.
Shallom Maldonado is a student at OU who has been very active in helping prepare for the event.
“I was born in the United States but my mother is South Korean and my dad is Puerto Rican so international affairs has always been a topic that is close to my heart,” Maldonado said. “International Week not only gives international students an opportunity to collaborate and share their culture with us, but it also gives Ohio University students and the citizens of Athens a chance to take the first step and broaden their horizons.”
Leading up to the festival, OU is hosting several International Week events, including multicultural lectures, an art festival, a talent show and more. For a schedule of this week’s events, visit www.ohio.edu/internationalweek/schedule.html.