The Indiana Insider Blog

Indiana International Festival, November 19 – 22, 2009

If you’ve ever wanted to learn about different countries around the world, but didn’t have the time or money for an international cruise, you can experience these different cultures at the Indianapolis International Festival, held November 19 – 22 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.

The festival is organized by the Nationalities Council of Indiana, a nonprofit organization made up of more than 50 ethnic and cultural groups in the Hoosier state.

Performances and exhibits will include:

  • Professional instructors from the Arthur Murray International Dance Studio will teach attendees different dances, including the Merengue, Bolero, Tango, Cha Cha and the Samba.
  • Watch Italian Street Painting as madonnari (street painters) will create a gallery on the floor of the West Pavilion. Vandra Linder will be the primary madonnari.
  • The Umbdabu Dance and Percussion Company will feature four of their dances at the festival. The company is based in Birmingham, Alabama, and is dedicated to the preservation of traditional and contemporary South African history and culture.
  • The Nationalities Council of Indiana is partnering with the Geography Educators’ Network of Indiana to present the National Geographic Society’s Giant Traveling Map of Africa. This is the world’s largest map of the African continent. It is 26 feet by 35 feet, and weighs 102 pounds.
  • The Student Passport Program allows students to explore their heritage and to talk with people from other cultures as part of the educational outreach program. Students can collect stamps in their Student Passports as they visit different tables and exhibits.
  • Of course, you can’t have an International Festival without International Beer & Wine Tasting. Kahn’s Fine Wines & Spirits is sponsoring the tasting, as authentic cuisines from over 20 different ethnic food vendors will be offered to visitors over the 4-day festival.
  • A naturalization ceremony that will welcome 175 new American citizens on Friday.
  • An international marketplace that offers gifts from around the world.

Schedule

School Dates & Hours
Nov 19: 10am – 2pm
Nov 20: 10am – 2pm

General Public Dates & Hours
Nov 20: 2pm – 9pm
Nov 21: 10am – 9pm
Nov 22: Noon – 6pm

Tickets are $7 in advance for adults, and $9 at the door. Children, ages 6 – 12, are $6. You can get your tickets at Marsh Supermarkets, Kahn’s Fine Wines, or show your AAA Hoosier Motor Club Membership card at the door, and receive $2 off the adult ticket price at the door.

You can see a slideshow of the 2007 International Festival at their Flickr feed.

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Written by : is a professional blogger and social media consultant. He is also a humor columnist in several weekly papers around Indiana, and on his own blog at ErikDeckers.com. A supporter of the local arts scene, Erik is a rabid fan of the Indy Fringe Theatre Festival in the summer. Erik is married and a father of three, and a Ball State alum. Erik receives compensation from the Indiana Office of Tourism Development — and a warm fuzzy feeling — for blogging. For more information, see our FTC Disclosure page.