Literacy for Life Puts On International Food and Art Festival is your source for free news and information in Williamsburg, James City & York Counties.

Literacy for Life's first annual Food and Arts Festival is an expansion of last year's Latin Festival with a more global focus. (Courtesy Literacy for Life)
Literacy for Life’s first annual Food and Arts Festival is an expansion of last year’s Latin Festival with a more global focus. (Courtesy Literacy for Life)

The College of William & Mary’s School of Education building will be the site of the inaugural International Food and Arts Festival this weekend.

The event is sponsored by Literacy for Life, a local organization dedicated to improving literacy throughout the Historic Triangle.

Conceptualized as a showcase of the cultural diversity in the area, the festival is expected to attract more than 1,000 people Saturday.

“With the Williamsburg International Food and Arts Festival, [Literacy for Life] is bringing together the community to celebrate the rich diversity of the Greater Williamsburg area,” said state Sen. John Miller, the honorary event chairman for the festival.

Culinary offerings span the globe and include exotic favorites such as Moroccan lamb couscous, green Thai curry and German brats. Guests can wash down these diverse dishes with an Alewerks beer.

In addition to a plethora of food options, more than 35 vendors and artisans will by on site selling handcrafted, internationally inspired wares ranging from paintings to jewelry to artisanal soaps and lotions.

A number of both national and local nonprofits will have booths at the festival providing information about their various causes. Organizations such as the Peace Corps and Habitat for Humanity will be available to chat with interested festival-goers and advertise their missions.

A series of live, culturally inspired performances will take the main stage in the School of Education’s courtyard. Hula, traditional Chinese music accompanied by a parading Chinese dragon and Irish dancers are among the acts set to perform.

After checking out the main stage, guests can head inside for interactive performance demonstrations, including Tae Kwon Do, Chinese calligraphy and yoga.

For the younger crowd, the festival will include an inflatable, face painting and piñatas.

“We serve an international community, so that is the inspiration for having an international festival,” said Allison Lenthall, development coordinator for Literacy for Life. “It’s going to be a day of fun and cultural learning celebrating the diversity of the Hampton Roads area.”

This free event will take place from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., rain or shine. For more information, click here.