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University of Iowa News Release


Feb. 13, 2007

Note: Organizers of the annual Celebrating Cultural Diversity Festival -- one of the biggest non-sporting events held on campus each year -- hope to reschedule the event for later this semester after severe winter weather forced its cancellation Sunday. Marcella David, special assistant to the president for equal opportunity and diversity, and Bret Gothe, a design artist who works in the Iowa Memorial Union, said the decision to postpone the event was painful because there are so many participants and sponsors. Gothe hopes the planning committee can meet this week to see if a new date can be chosen this semester. "We plan to reschedule if it is at all possible," he said.

University of Iowa Festival Will Celebrate Diverse Cultures

The University of Iowa will host the 18th annual Celebrating Cultural Diversity Festival (CCDF) on Feb. 25 from noon to 5 p.m. at the UI Field House.

Admission is free and open to the public. Ethnic foods, arts and crafts will be available for purchase from vendors. CCDF is also sponsoring a canned food drive and asks attendees to consider bringing canned food items that will be distributed to area shelters and food banks.

CCDF brings people from over 100 diverse international and domestic cultures together to learn about customs, traditions and world perspectives in a fun, social and meaningful event. With last year's attendance at more than 4,000, the festival has become the second-largest non-athletic event sponsored by the UI.

"CCDF is great fun and provides a great mid-winter opportunity for the university community and our neighbors in Iowa City, Cedar Rapids and beyond to spend time together. There is an opportunity to learn more about different U.S. and international cultures, and experience music, dance and food from all over the world," said Marcella David, CCDF chair and special assistant to the president for UI Equal Opportunity and Diversity.

Activities include:

--Children's area: New in 2007, this area offers storytelling, craft making and a passport activity in which participants can be entered to win a pass to the Iowa Children's Museum in Coralville.

--Sports demonstrations: Activities will include Brazilian fighting dance demonstration by the UI Capoeira Club, and presentations from martial art groups from Jingui Golden Shield Qi Gong, Kojokan Samurai Dojo and Choe's Black Belt Academy.

--Live Music: Performers will include Bahri Karacay, a UI research scientist in pediatrics, playing Turkish/Middle-Eastern music; a Russian guitarist; The Soul Searchers; and Mad River.

--Dance: Performers will include the Mirage Middle Eastern Dance Troupe from Ames; Noopur Dance Troupe performing temple dances of India; and Filipino, Chinese, Indonesian and Vietnamese dancers.

--Arts & Crafts: Some vendors will offer hand-made goods for sale, including festive paper flowers and hand-knit sweaters.

--Food Booths: Visitors will be able to sample delicacies from around the world, from Hunan Chinese items and Greek baklava to bubble tea and falafels. Kid-friendly food will also be available.

Free parking is available in the lot west of Kinnick Stadium. Additional parking is available in Lots 6, 13, 14, and Hospital Ramp IV at $.65 for the first hour and $.80/hour each additional hour. A shuttle will be available to and from Kinnick.

CCDF is made possible in part by the generous support of Rockwell Collins. Additional support provided by the UI Staff Council, Opportunity At Iowa and Support Service Programs, Office of Admissions, Recreational Services, Office of Student Life, International Programs, UI Community Credit Union, College of Public Health, Iowa Memorial Union Food Service/Catering, Signs and Screenprinters, and the Iowa Children's Museum.

For more information about CCDF or a detailed schedule of events, visit its website at:

SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACTS: Media: George McCrory 319-384-0012,; Program: Valerie Garr, 319-335-1566; UI Office of Student Life, 319-335-3059