More than 6,000 people attended the 6th Annual International Children’s Festival held on Sunday, May 6th at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. The Festival, a one-day free of cost interactive educational event, was organized by Meridian International Center and partners: THIS for Diplomats, Cultural Tourism DC (CTDC), and the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center (RRB-ITC). This year’s theme, “Around the World in One Day,” provided Washington-area families and visitors with unique exposure to a wide variety of cultures, all conveniently located in one central location. Participants enjoyed visiting 22 embassy interactive booths where they sampled international cuisine, made traditional crafts, and learned about the diverse cultures, geography, and attire of countries around the world. Children took Festival “passports” to each embassy booth to receive their stamps for traveling the world in a day. Thirteen international performance groups regaled the crowds with dance, music, and comedic acts. Many groups delighted children and their families by inviting them on stage for interactive lessons.
The Festival was opened by Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, Representative for Washington, DC to the U.S. House of Representatives, who served as the Festival’s Honorary Patron, and by Angie Goff, NBC4 Weekend News Anchor, who was the Mistress of Ceremonies. They welcomed the crowd with their enthusiastic support for the mission of starting education on global affairs at an early age.
Meridian Deputy and Senior Vice President, Ambassador Sharon Wilkinson provided welcome remarks, thanking Washington DC Mayor Vincent Gray for his support as Honorary Chair and Festival Co-Chairs, Judy Bishop and Pilar O’Leary for their tireless outreach and fundraising. Ambassador Wilkinson stated, “We are absolutely delighted to be able to host the International Children’s Festival which brings the diversity of the world to all of Washington, DC’s communities. The nation’s capital is home to more than 170 embassies of countries around the world and the Festival offers a unique opportunity to connect those countries to our children in a fun, interactive way.”
This was the 6th consecutive year that Meridian International Center has organized the International Children’s Festival but the first time it was held at the Ronald Reagan Building. The Festival is a highlight of Meridian’s educational outreach programming, known as the LiveLocal/ThinkGlobal Network. LL/TG brings Meridian International Center’s rich international resources to this community so that everyone —from young students to senior citizens— can learn about cultures, traditions, ideas, and societies from around the world. Through Meridian’s long-standing ties with the diplomatic community, the U.S. Department of State, and international organizations, LL/TG’s programs encourage all community members to learn about global issues and how to participate as a global citizen.
Please click here to see more photos
Courtesy of NBC News4