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Diversity Celebration April 8 at ASU

By Derek Halsey (

Article Published: Apr. 3 | Modified: Apr. 9
Diversity Celebration April 8 at ASU

The Grandfather Mountain Highlanders Pipe Band will march back into Boone for ASU’s annual Diversity Celebration, returning to campus April 8.

Photo submitted

The cultures of countries near and far come to Boone Tuesday, April 8, as Appalachian State University hosts its annual Diversity Celebration.

Titled “Where Culture Comes to Life,” the event will take place from 3 to 9 p.m. in the many rooms of the Plemmons Student Union on campus.

In 2002, a planning committee formed to create the first-ever Diversity Celebration festival. Since then, the annual get-together showcases not only the local High Country culture, but also cultures from around the world by way of music, art, sports and food.

Here is a breakdown of the various events taking place throughout the afternoon and evening.
The International Hall will host a wide range of exhibitors from 3 to 9 p.m., as well as a series of speakers who will talk about their experiences while traveling and studying abroad from 3 to 8 p.m.
The Multicultural Center on the first floor will feature art exhibitors throughout, and International Conversations will take place from 3 to 8 p.m.

The first floor Summit Trail Solarium Stage will showcase everything from Kung Fu demonstrations and the Cans and Pans Steel Drum Band to Native American Drum and Dance, the Grandfather Mountain Highlanders Pipe Band and Lost Jewels of the Ghawazee Belly Dance Troupe.

The Crossroads Coffee House stage, the Roan Mountain Room and the Cascade Stage will feature other music, including jazz, bluegrass, old-time, klezmer, a capella, mariachi, meringue and bachata Latin music, cloggers, puppet shows and more.

The Unity Festival, happening in the second floor’s Blue Ridge Ballroom, will offer demonstrations on a variety of crafty topics, from how to make toys, Appalachian knotted bedspreads and old-time butter churning and apple coring to hands-on courses on the cultures of the Australian Aborigines and other countries.

“We try and bring in a lot of different entertainers to expose people to different cultures,” organizer Shari Williamson said.

One of the new events is a cricket game and demonstration, taking place on Sanford Mall from 5 to 6 p.m.

Back in Plemmons, the international food tasting — a festival favorite — will take place in the Grandfather Mountain Ballroom, along with a variety of dance demonstrations. Dance workshops will be held in the Whitewater Café room, with instruction on styles, such as African dance, Hmong dance, Latin dance, Western line dancing, Indian folk dancing and Brazilian martial arts.

“We are pulling from our community and seeing what resources we have here,” Williamson said. “I think a lot of us might look around at our community and think that we are not very diverse. But I think a Diversity Celebration is a great indicator of the cool culture that we do have on the mountain.”

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