International Festival returns to Harrisonburg

International Festival shows off the diversity within Harrisonburg.
Published: Sep. 24, 2022 at 8:33 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - After two years without it, Harrisonburg’s International Festival took over downtown again Saturday.

“The people that you are going to meet today represent the diversity that is Harrisonburg’s greatest strength,” Mayor Deanna Reed said in her speech to the crowd at Saturday’s festival. “We are so lucky that so many from around the world have come to call Harrisonburg home.”

Court Square was lined with booths of artists, vendors, and homemade food exclusive to different countries and cultures.

“This is an inclusive community based on the schools’ data that they have 50 languages there, so it means that we have quite a diverse community living together,” Abdelrahman Rabie, board member at the Fairfield Center said.

Rabie said the fourth week of September has been proclaimed the week of the international festival.

“Hopefully in a year or two, we’ll be a model for others since it is nationwide,” Rabie said.

Cultural dresses, dances, music, and food gave people the opportunity, after two years, to be able to share with different community members, and other cultures a small piece of who they are and where they came from.

“Today we will join together as neighbors to become a more welcoming and friendlier place,” Mayor Reed said in her speech.