On Sunday, Feb. 24, the Maryland Heights Centre (2344 McKelvey Road) will become a melting pot of world cultures at the annual “Celebrate the World” International Festival. Now in its 12th year, the festival draws thousands of visitors from around the region for a free afternoon of music, dance, crafts, food and more.
The event kicks off at noon with the “Parade of Nations” opening ceremony led by local scouting troops and country representatives. Two stages will feature live music and dance from around the globe from noon to 5 p.m. Scheduled performers include Latin jazz musicians Acoustic Element, Bollywood Dancers (India), St. Louis Osuwa Taiko Drummers (Japan), Shaolin Lohan Pai Lion Dance Troupe (China), five-piece German band Die Spitzbuam and Drums and Dances of Congo.
Several artisans will be on hand to demonstrate their crafts, including ice carving, sitar (a stringed instrument popular in India) and didgeridoo, a native Australian wind instrument. The festival will also offer an international marketplace, where vendors from a number of different nations will sell jewelry, crafts, artwork and other original items.
Ranken Jordan Pediatric Specialty Hospital, Saint Louis Art Museum and the St. Louis County Library will host special activities for youngsters and their parents in the children’s area.
And of course, the day wouldn’t be complete without the delectable culinary delights of the “Taste of the World” refreshment area. Be sure to bring a few dollars to sample dishes from Italy, Bulgaria, Nigeria and more.
Sponsors for this year’s festival include the Maryland Heights Cultural Arts Commission and the City of Maryland Heights.
A complete performance schedule and vendor listing is available at www.marylandheights.com/ctw2013. For more information, contact Angela Ament at (314) 738-2599.