Thousands of people came to Monroe Park on Saturday to celebrate VCU’s annual Intercultural Festival.
The event, more than a decade old, was deemed a VCU tradition in 2003 and is run by student volunteers according to the Intercultural Festival’s website.
The event’s organizers said that at least 8,000 people were expected to attend.
Drummers banged on old five-gallon buckets, African dancers provided dance lessons, henna tattoos were offered along with cuisine from all over the world. Some students said the event allowed them to gain insight into cultures different from their own.
Brian Burns, an incoming freshman, said the festival was a great way to showcase VCU’s diversity and provided an easy way for him to meet an eclectic group of people.
Burns’ mother, Donna Sabis-Burns, said she agreed.
“(The Intercultural Festival) is a great way, for incoming students especially, to see what the college has to offer and what the city is all about,” Sabis-Burns said. “It gives a nice flavor to the community. It shows people what the university and the city are like and really shows what’s interesting and unique about the area.”
As the scent of Greek, Ethiopian, Italian and Indian foods floated through the park, students said the event was a nice way to see how other students
celebrated their heritage.
“Events like the Intercultural Festival make people more aware of the different cultures, especially the different talents,” Theresa Daniels, a junior
forensic science major, said. “I liked the different performances the most. And since I like to eat, I loved the different foods, too.”
Entertainment and food aside, some said they were glad that the college community could simply take advantage of Monroe Park.
“(Richmond) used to not really do anything with the park, so it’s really nice to see that they’re finally putting it to good use,” former VCU student Daniel
His favorite part of the festival?
“The food, for sure,” he said.