By Jacquelyn Zeman – Chief Web Editor
The 15th annual Global Experience Festival will be hosted in the Ford Fieldhouse on March 27. The event will feature international food and entertainment from a variety of different cultures.
The festival began in 1999, and has grown into a large event that is open to all GRCC students, faculty and community members. It is now the largest student-organized event at GRCC. The International Student and Hispanic Student organizations, the Asian Student Union, Campus Activities Board, Student Alliance and German Clubs all helped to put together this year’s event.
German Club Secretary, Vanessa Kroepsch said that after attending last year’s event, she knew she wanted to be involved with planning the festival in the future. As a part of this year’s festival, student cultural groups from Grand Valley State University will be a part of the event as well.
“We have so much globalization now,” Kroepsch said. “(Through this) we can make connections with other colleges and universities. I think it is awesome that we can connect in that way.”
This year the theme of the festival is “Celebrate” in honor of GRCC’s 100-year anniversary. Provost Laurie Chesley is scheduled to be opening the event with a welcoming speech.
The event is meant to be “an invitation to explore different cultures,” according to Katherine Hughes, GRCC faculty member and adviser of the International Student Organization.
“For only $5, students can come sample food from various countries and watch song and dances from all around the world,” Hughes said. “It’s (an) inexpensive evening out, thanks to the support we receive from the office of Student Life.”
The goal of the event is to create a full “global experience” for students.
“Every year we feature different food stations and different entertainment,” Hughes said. “This year’s food stations include (a) Morocco, Japan and a Native American table.”
Hughes said the event is for all ages.
“We screen our entertainment to make sure it is family friendly and does not include adult themes or language,” Hughes said. “Children love to see the different dances and all the colors. This year we will also have two children’s dance groups from the community.”
Following the event, GRCC Zumba instructor, Beth Damon, will be teaching a free Zumba class after the final stage performance.
The festival will take place 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on March 27 in the Ford Fieldhouse. Tickets are $5 and are on sale now in the Student Life Office on the first floor of the Student Community Center. They can also be purchased online at grccglobalfest.eventbrite.com. Children under 3 are free.