International Festival of Cultures returns to Rocky Mount

Source: City Of Rocky Mount NC.
Source: City Of Rocky Mount NC.

Contributed by Tameka Kenan-Norman

The cultural diversity of Rocky Mount will be on display March 5, 2016 from noon to 4pm at Nash Community College’s Brown Auditorium during the International Festival of Cultures.

The event, sponsored by the Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission, the City of Rocky Mount, Cummins Rocky Mount Engine Plant, Nash Community College and PNC Bank, serves to highlight the variety of cultures that call Rocky Mount NC home.

“We have so many different cultures here in Rocky Mount, and this event showcases the diversity that helps make our city special,” says Archie Jones, Human Relations director for the city of Rocky Mount.

At least six cultures will be on display, including:

  • Malaysian
  • Indian
  • Pakistani
  • Mexican
  • Costa Rican
  • Palestinian

Food from each group will be offered for tasting, and ethnic items will be available for viewing.

The International Club from Rocky Mount High School will also highlight several countries through display and edible delicacies. And, several local restaurants will be on hand to provide samples to attendees. Vendors confirmed for the free food tasting, so far, include:

  • Pizza Hut
  • Prime Smoke House
  • Poppies International
  • Chicos
  • Chick Fil-A

According to Archie Jones, Human Relations Director for the City of Rocky Mount, several other local restaurants are expected to confirm soon. This part of the cultural festival is called the  “Taste of Rocky Mount”.

“The sampling of native food really is one of the hallmarks of the festival,” says Jones. “Each culture is so different, and it is those differences and that diversity that adds to our quality of life.”

In addition to the food and cultural displays, vocal performances and demonstrations will also be part of the event, including a cultural fashion show featuring attire from various ethnic groups.

“In many countries and cultures, clothing and regalia have specific meanings,” says Jones, “We gain a better understanding and a deeper respect for these cultures when we take the time to find out the meaning behind what they wear.”

Admission to the International Festival of Cultures is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the City of Rocky Mount’s Human Relations Department at 252.972.1181.

Rocky Mount is located in Edgecombe and Nash Counties, Eastern North Carolina. To find out more about this city, visit the City of Rocky Mount website. In addition to local happenings, history and government information may be found on that site.

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Kay Whatley serves as Editor and Reporter with The Grey Area News. Kay is a published author with over 20 years of experience in the publishing industry. Kay Whatley is wife to Frank Whatley, founder of The Grey Area™ newspaper and The Grey Area News online news website.