A Saturday festival will let you travel to another country – without leaving Columbia.
The International Flavors on Decker event, in the heart of Richland County’s International Corridor, will include exotic foods, costumed dancers and international music, a bazaar, exhibits and more. The event is from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. at Decker Center, 2500 Decker Blvd. Admission is free.
Here, four things to know about the event, according to organizers.
Where did the idea for the festival come from?
In September 2008, Richland County Council deemed Decker Boulevard the International Corridor of the County. Stats from 2010 reported more than 40 countries represented in the boulevard’s shops. Today, Richland 2, comprised of 32 schools (26,780 students), is South Carolina’s fourth most diverse district, and the 5th largest.
In 2010, the Columbia International Festival received funding from Richland County for a one-day mini-festival, Nov. 13. Nearly 4,000 came together that Saturday to celebrate Decker Boulevard’s rich ethnic diversity and multiculturalism. It drew many people from all around the Greater Columbia Metropolitan area – foreign-born and local. We want to continue this with an annual event on Decker Boulevard International Corridor.
What can visitors expect at this festival?
There will be national exhibits that enable attendees to explore the cultural heritages of other countries that have been interwoven into the fabric of Carolina’s dynamic society and development, along with cultural performances that bring each country’s culture to life through traditional dances by colorfully costumed dancers. And of course, guests will be able to sample flavors from other nations/regional ethnicities.
What’s the one thing visitors shouldn’t miss at this year’s event?
The international bazaar, which offers authentic products (arts and crafts, postcards, photos, paintings, books, sculpture, souvenirs, posters, wood, leather, paper, clay, clothing, pre-packaged food) that reflect their country’s national character.