The International Festival strives to celebrate the diversity of Harrisonburg and the surrounding communities by providing a friendly forum in which cultural groups can showcase their cultural and linguistic values as a means to educate the larger community and to support awareness for their presence and contribution.
We began in 1997 as an alliance of various community groups and individuals who wanted to promote tolerance to all residents and offer support to local immigrants and cultural businesses. That first year, it was a small and dedicated group that put together the festival on short notice, and though it remains relatively small, our planning committee continues to diversify through increasing community involvement.
Realizing the importance of communication, the festival has always translated our promotional and informational materials in the most prominent languages of our area. Since its inception international music, dance, food, artists, storytelling, and family-friendly activities for everyone have been the mainstay of our event and what have given rise to our community ethos: ‘Educate, Entertain, and Eat!’
The Harrisonburg International Festival is a program of the Civic Engagement branch of the Fairfield Center, a nonprofit organization working to advance dialogue and understanding in our community.