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International Festival to return to college
Posted 03/30/2017 08:35AM

By TYLER H. JONES tjones@goldenisles.news

Cultures from across the globe will be on display Friday at College of Coastal Georgia in Brunswick during the annual International Festival.

The free event, hosted by the college and the Robert S. Abbott Race Unity Institute, is open to the public from 2-7 p.m. at the college's conference center on the south end of the campus near Fourth Street.

In its sixth year, the festival will feature vendors, music, cultural demonstrations and activities for children, said Jaime Parker-Lewis, Assistant Dean of Student Life at the college.

"Each year we're doing something to improve the International Festival," Parker-Lewis said. "It's an opportunity for the community to come together with students and staff and celebrate culture beyond Glynn County."

Of note, sculptures created by Kevin Pullen, the college's artist in residence, will be on display during the festival. The centerpiece display is a recently crafted bust of Robert S. Abbott, famed attorney and publisher of the African-American newspaper The Chicago Defender. Abbot was born on St. Simons Island in 1870 and went on to grow his newspaper to be the highest circulated black-owned newspaper in America. He died in Chicago in 1940.

The bust is significant because of ongoing negotiations to have a bronzed copy placed on permanent display at the Smithsonian Institute's National Museum of African American History in Washington, D.C. The five-story museum opened on the National Mall in September.

Festival events include an acrobatics duo, a tae kwon do demonstration, steel drum playing and live music.

"The festival is good fun for all ages," Parker-Lewis said. "You can stop by for half an hour, or for all day. There's plenty to do and experience. There will be good food, good live music — there's not much more you could ask for."

Vendors will also be on hand to sell food and crafts including pottery and art, she said. Face painting, temporary henna tattoos and educational programs will also be available.

Lewis-Parker said the collaboration between College of Coastal Georgia and the Robert S. Abbott Race Unity Institute is key to making the event a success.

"I'm not sure the college could have done this festival solo," she said. "The Abbott Institute is a huge driver of this event, and they do all the advertising and coordinate the vendors and artists. The college handles the music and the facility. It's a good partnership and an opportunity for the college to work with the greater community."

The International Festival will be held rain or shine. In the event of rain, the festivities will move inside the college's conference center. Public parking will be available adjacent to the conference center off Fourth Avenue. College students are asked to bring their student identification for six free tickets to the food bazaar.

For more information, visit www.ccga.edu and search "International Festival."

If You Go

The sixth annual International Festival, sponsored by College of Coastal Georgia and the Robert S. Abbott Race Unity Institute, will be 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday at the college's conference center off Fourth Avenue in Brunswick. The event is free to the public, and vendors will sell food and crafts. Entertainment and cultural demonstrations will be on display. The event is rain or shine, and in the event of rain will move inside the conference center.


Photo by Michael Hall of The Brunswick News

Amor Landry, holding the plate, Lorelie Acas, to her right, and Beth Bulatao, right, serve chicken and pork adobo during a previous year's International Festival.

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