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The Blue & Gray Press | May 26, 2018

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Fair Draws Thousands Despite Weather

Fair Draws Thousands Despite Weather

By: EDEN BROWN

Cloudy and cold weather did not stop the 21st annual Multicultural Fair at the University of Mary Washington this past Saturday.

While this year’s fair saw fewer visitors than in 2010, the attendance was still strong, according to LaNita Weisenberger, the assistant director of the Multicultural Center.

“It is estimated that between 4,000 and 5,000 attended the Multicultural Fair this year,” Weisenberger said.

The fair also saw the largest number of vendors registered since 2005, she said, with approximately 120 vendors present.

“There were several new vendors incorporated in this year’s event, which included additional food, craft, and nonprofit vendors,” Weisenberger said.

Vendors sold everything from organic spices to jewelry from a variety of cultures.  Many gave out free samples of their products.  One henna artist offered visitors free henna tattoos.

The fair featured performances and organizations from a large surrounding area, including local groups such as Aikido in Fredericksburg and The Land of Promise Sanctuary Choir. The Arlington Opera Company and Desert Wind Dance Company performed in Dodd Auditorium, in addition to cultural dances from China, Africa and many more.

“The Multicultural fair is a unique opportunity for Mary Washington students to see life in a different perspective of lifestyles,” junior Michael Walter said. “Also [there were] awesome acts such as step team and bhangra.”

The fair also offered activities for children, many set up by UMW students, including flag making, face painting, henna and origami. Many clubs and organizations performed as well, including the dance team, and the hand percussion club.

In addition to all the events going on, there was ethnic food, such as Asian cuisine, located in Ball Circle along with funnel cakes, ice cream and food offered by Big Daddy and Two Little Mama’s catering.

One student, junior Mary Purello, helped run the Charity Water table was pleased by the attendance.

“It’s neat to see all the kids around getting exposed to different cultures,” Purello said.