About the Festival

As the technology of the new millennium brings the world closer together, it becomes increasingly important for us to have some knowledge and understanding of people and cultures other than our own. This is especially true of our children who will truly live and work in a global community.

The International Children's Festival provides a unique opportunity for children and their families to experience the sights, sounds, and cuisine of distant places right in their own backyard. Close to 40 countries and cultures will showcase their respective heritages through entertainment, food, and educational exhibits based on Virginia's Standards of Learning (SOLs). Set in these exquisite backdrops, downtown Hampton's Mill Point Park, along Queens Way and Carousel Park will come alive as guests 'visit' countries most would experience only in their dreams.

The rhythmic pounding of Djembe drums, the tastes of exotic dishes, and geography long forgotten will weave a colorful tapestry of stories from the American Samoa, Armenia, Brazil, Cambodia, Canada, Caribbean Islands, Dominican Republic, England, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Greece, Haiti, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Middle East, Morocco, Norway, Nigeria, Panama, People’s Republic of China, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Russia, Spain, South Africa, Taiwan Republic of China, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, USA, Vietnam and Wales.

And what is it all about; opening minds to other ways of thinking by providing the opportunity for conversation and learning in an environment of international and native ethnic customs. With the sensual aspects of dance, music, art and food, children and adults not only learn about other ways of life, but they experience them. In the diversity of cultures that make up America, there is also a diversity learning styles. We can learn from books, but we can also learn from our neighbors. Taking home shared words, a lingering taste, a memory of music just may last a whole lifetime.