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Columbia International Festival returns to the Midlands this weekend

The Columbia International Festival showcases the music, culture, food and performing arts of the various cultures, nationalities and races represented in SC.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The world is starting to come out from under the shadow of pandemic, and soon you'll see that happen right here in Columbia.

After a year off, members of our state's multicultural communities will gather for the 2021 Columbia International Festival, at the South Carolina State Fairgrounds on Saturday and Sunday, June 5 and 6.

On Thursday, News19's Brandon Taylor spoke with Dr. Raj Aluri, the founder of the festival. Dr. Aluri has been running the festival for 26 years.  He says the event was created to celebrate local diversity and the strong role immigrants play in our community.

Due to the pandemic, this year's festival will be scaled down for social distancing, with some activities in the open air, and the crowd capacity will be monitored. For the safety of guests and participants at the festival, a mask mandate will be strictly enforced indoors. All measures to prevent spread of COVID-19 will be observed.

The attractions at the festival will include:

International Food Court (Saturday & Sunday) – Sample the exotic flavors of foreign cuisines from around the world. You'll come back for more!

Posted by Columbia International Festival on Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Cultural Entertainment – Both days, groups representing many countries will bring cultural performances to the festival stage.

International Fashion Show – See beautiful traditional modes of dress that distinguish cultures from around the globe.

International Bazaar – Shop for authentic clothing, crafts, jewelry and souvenirs imported from a wide variety of nations.

Cultural Demonstrations – Learn how to do something new – make origami, use chopsticks, write in another script, play other cultures' games, say "hello," “thank you,” “goodbye,” or count in another language.

Parade of Nations – Traditionally dressed representatives from many countries proudly present their home countries’ flags at the 2 p.m. Saturday parade.

Click here for more information.