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FMU to host Pee Dee International Festival, Oct. 13

    FLORENCE, S.C. – Francis Marion University will play host to the 15th-annual Pee Dee International Festival, Saturday, Oct. 13, from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

    The purpose of the festival, which is free and open to the public, is to foster a better understanding of the cultures represented in the Pee Dee and increase appreciation for the global community. The event will feature music, dance, food booths, cultural displays and activities for children. The festival will be held rain or shine.

    This year’s festival will feature the Kevin Locke Native Dance Ensemble with traditional Lakota music and dance and the added vitality of dances and songs from the varied traditions of the ensemble performers.

     Representing the Plains nations of Lakota, Anishinabe and Comanche, the Southeastern tribe Choctaw and the Woodlands Nations of Ojibwe and Oneida, this one-of-a-kind ensemble of American Indian champions and award winners offers a rich variety of American Indian traditions and aesthetics in dance, instrumentals, song, storytelling, sign language and audience interaction. Also available are regionally specific programs with local artists working with the Ensemble to offer a wider variety of tribal representation.

     The Kevin Locke Native Dance Ensemble has been performing for the past five years. Recent appearances at the opening of the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, a follow-up performance at NMAI in New York City, the World Culture Open at the Lincoln Center (sponsored in part by the United Nations), and a residency at the University of Arizona have all been met with high acclaim.

     Also featured is the West African Dance Production originally from the Ivory Coast led by Ohmar Gandy and Queen Nikki. Greek and Indian dancers are also on program. All performances will be on the outdoor stages in front of Rogers Library.

     The Florence-Darlington Strings will perform in costumes and introduce the pieces in native languages. This group consists of 60 of the area’s young strings players ranging in age from six to 18, with 18 nationalities represented. They will play their violins, violas and cellos. Enjoy familiar tunes from around the world and a medley of many national anthems.

     The Vincent Santamaria Band featuring mariachi music will also perform.

     A featured artist at this year’s festival is Derek Ansani who will have authentic African Art on hand to include, masks, paintings, sculptures, Kente and custom carvings.

    “Taste of the World” will include ethnic food items for sale featuring American, British, Cajun, Caribbean, Chinese, Colombian, German, Japanese, Indian, Korean, Mexican and Vietnamese delicacies. Business and cultural displays representing more than 20 countries will be exhibited in the Smith University Center commons all day.

   The festival is presented by the Florence Family YMCA and Francis Marion University.

   Major sponsors include FMU, Honda of South Carolina Mfg. Inc., Pepsi, and Nan Ya Plastics Corp. Business patrons and contributors include Crown Beverages, Inc., GE Medical Systems, Roche Carolina Inc., BB&T, DuPont Teijin Films, ESAB Welding and Cutting Products, IRIX Pharmaceuticals, S&W Manufacturing, and Wellman.

     For more information, call the FMU Community Relations Office at 843-661-1225.

#28 / 9-6-07
Last Published: September 6, 2007 11:32 AM
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