NEW WINDSOR -- In a shrinking world filled with sweeping overnight changes, this Saturday's "International Festival . . . A // Circle of Friends" will help acquaint visitors with a multitude of cultural traditions.
The festival is free and will take place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the grounds of its host, the New Windsor Service Center.
"We are hoping to make this an annual event," said Terri Meushaw, marketing associate for the center. "We had some 2,000 people turn out for our first attempt last year, and we are looking to double that amount this year."
About 40 countries will be represented by booths exhibiting crafts, clothing and food.
A variety of ethnic cultures will be displayed by organizations and individuals, as well as residents from the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area.
"There are many people in our communities [in Carroll] who are from ethnic backgrounds," Meushaw said. "For instance, Piney Creek Church of the Brethren has a woman who is from Thailand, and she will be at their booth cooking Thai food."
Scottish bagpipe player John McCruden, the Tanghalang Pilipino 29-member Philippine musical dance troupe), Baltimore American Indian Dancers, Jamal Koram (an African storyteller) and the Trinidad and Tobago Baltimore Steel Orchestra will provide entertainment throughout the day.
Many activities have been planned to help younger visitors experience the differences in cultures.
"We have set up an Ethnic Clothes Closet where children can come in and try on clothes from around the world," Meushaw said.
"Also, Bill Jenkins will be on hand to show the children a variety of musical instruments from all around the world."
In addition, children can enjoy other activities such as craft time, hay rides, face painting, animal painting, a treasure hunt and goat milking.
While the displays teach people about other cultures, they also help to explain the mission of the New Windsor Service Center and its involvement in global concerns, Meushaw said.
"It provides us with an opportunity to share resources with the community that encourage international cooperation," she said. "Right now is a good time to learn about other cultures, since there is an interest in the way things are happening around the world."
The New Windsor Service Center is owned and operated by the Church of the Brethren General Board.
It has been facilitating denominational and ecumenical ministries that assist people around the world since 1944.
Information: 876-2263 or 635-8715.