The Festival of Nations celebration will be held at North Street Elementary School on Saturday, Nov. 4 from 1-4 p.m. In a new location due to renovations underway at Geneva middle and high schools, the Festival returns for its 11th year of student- and family-oriented cultural activities to celebrate the diverse cultures of the Geneva community.
Coordinated by the Geneva City School District (GCSD), Hobart and William Smith Colleges and Finger Lakes Community College (FLCC), the Festival is a collaborative event among schools and local artists and musicians, business owners, community resources and non-profit agencies. The event provides the opportunity for area students and families to engage with school clubs, community organizations and resources all while enjoying a variety of foods, traditions and music from around the world. Longtime community participants include the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Choir, Sons of Italy, Geneva Rotary Club, Boys and Girls Club of Geneva and St. Peter’s Academy Choir, Geneva 2020, among many others.
“Over the past 11 years, we have continued to partner with so many organizations and dedicated people in Geneva and the region,” says Nikki Kersbergen, grants coordinator for GCSD and chair of the Festival. “Some of those connections have grown into educationally sustainable partnerships within Geneva’s classrooms. It is amazing to watch this event grow and for these collaborations for the students to blossom.”
HWS international students and clubs participate annually alongside Geneva community members, sharing traditions from more than 30 nations. Many other HWS student clubs and organizations participate as well, deepening the relationship between the Colleges and the local communities and encouraging interaction between Geneva City School and HWS students, especially those of international descent.
As one of the newest partners of the event, FLCC plans to have student and faculty representation from various programs including, culinary, English as a Second Language, Emergency Medical Services, musical performances and more.
“Festival of Nations is a wonderful opportunity to share our diverse programs and deepen the connections between FLCC, the Geneva City School District, and local community partners,” says Leigh Principio Pitifer ’84, P’13, P’18, Assistant Director at FLCC’s Geneva Campus Center. “We’re thankful and excited to participate again this year.”
The free event is open to the public. Pre-sale tickets for a BBQ, hosted by the National Honor Society during the Festival, are $10 and will be $12 the day of the event.
To participate in the community resource fair or to make a donation, please contact Kersbergen at (315) 781-0400 ext. 1202, or email her at NKersbergen@GenevaCSD.org.