Community, Engagement, Belonging and Access

29th annual International Festival draws thousands to Littlejohn


The threat of inclement weather forced this year’s International Festival to move from Bowman Field into Littlejohn Coliseum, but it did not dampen the fun or enthusiasm for the crowds who flocked to rows of booths filling the atrium that circles the University’s signature indoor stadium Friday evening.

The family-friendly event, hosted by the Harvey and Lucinda Gantt Multicultural Center, celebrates the diversity of culture in the University’s student body with culturally based foods and entertainment. Each year, several thousand students and local visitors attend the event. Student volunteers, clubs and organizations represent their featured countries by wearing traditional clothing, playing cultural music and serving food.

A couple walks up a staircase, flanked by rows of flags blowing in the wind, with Memorial Stadium behind them.
A couple enters Littlejohn Coliseum through rows of international flags to attend the festival.

This year more than a dozen student organizations participated including:

  • Nigerian Student Association
  • Bangladesh Student Association
  • Pi Alpha Phi
  • Sigma Lambda Gamma National Sorority, Inc.
  • Sri Lankan Students Association
  • Nepalese Student Association (NepSA)
  • Delta Phi Lambda Sorority, Inc.
  • Latinos Unidos at Clemson University
  • Delta Phi Lambda Sorority, Inc.
  • Plant and Environmental Sciences Graduate Student Association (PESGSA)
  • Hermandad de Sigma Iota Alpha Inc.
  • Pakistan Cultural Association
  • Clemson Indian Student Association
  • Clemson Dholna
  • Clemson K-Pop

Visitors entered the coliseum through a colorful formation of flags from the different countries represented. Inside, volunteers in bright green shirts sold tickets that could be exchanged for food and drinks. Students manning the food booths had their hands full serving the crowds of people gathered around them for a taste of different world cuisines.

Despite the move to an indoor venue, the event was a huge success, said Rebecca Harkless, director of the Gantt Multicultural Center.

“I’m very pleased,” said Harkless. “People found their way here because this is such a unique and exciting event celebrating the diverse communities at Clemson. Where else can you learn about other cultures, eat delicious food and dance to music from all over the world? It’s awesome. And a special thank you to Clemson Athletics for assisting us with a last-minute venue change due to weather.”

Proceeds from the festival benefit the participating student organizations.