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FMU to host Pee Dee International Festival, Oct. 16

    FLORENCE, S.C. – Francis Marion University will play host to the 12th-annual Pee Dee International Festival on Saturday, Oct. 16, from 11 a.m. to 5 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 Mapapa African Acrobats, an entertainment revue from the heart of Africa. Originating in Mombassa, Kenya, they have performed in 25 countries over the last 10 years. This incredible troupe combines Chinese and African traditions of acrobatics in a fast-paced show that blends limbo (with fire), tumbling, jumping, dancing, and amazing intricate balances. Seven men bounce, bop and balance to a joyful Benga beat as they combine Chinese acrobatic feats with East African musical tradition. They will perform at 1:30 and 3:30 p.m.

    Also featured is Mucho Mariachi Trio. This colorfully dressed band performs songs from south of the border. These performers use guitars, trumpets, vocalists and an accordion to bring a little taste of Mexico home. They will perform at 12:30 p.m.

    Also performing will be the Florence-Darlington Strings. This group consists of 60 of the area’s young strings players ranging in age from 6 to 18, with 18 nationalities represented. Performing in costumes and introducing the pieces in native languages, they will play their violins, viola and cellos. They will perform at 11:30 a.m.

    The festival will begin at 11 a.m. with the presentation of flags and Todd Matthews on bagpipes. Other performances include the Vincent Santamaria Band at 2:30 p.m., Indian dancers at 4:30 p.m., and Greek dancers at 4:45 p.m. All performances are on the outdoor stage between the Smith University Center and the Leatherman Science Facility.

    “Taste of the World” will include ethnic food items for sale featuring American, British, Cajun, Caribbean, Chinese, Colombian, German, Greek, Japanese, Indian, Korean and Mexican delicacies. In addition, festival-goers can enjoy an authentic German beer garden and the music of Accordion Bob. Business and cultural displays representing more than a dozen countries will be exhibited in the Smith University Center commons all day.

    In its second year is the Continental Express Trolley Ride, sponsored by PDRTA. For a $1 fare, passengers can board the trolley and head to the “World of Knowledge,” which will provide information about other countries, languages and cultures.

    There will also be pony rides and a petting zoo for children.

    The festival is presented by the Florence Family YMCA, Francis Marion University, Florence-Darlington Technical College and the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce.

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

    This project is funded in part by the Florence Regional Arts Alliance and the South Carolina Arts Commission, which receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts.

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



11 to 11:30 a.m.             Presentation of Flags – Todd Matthews, bagpipes

11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Florence-Darlington Strings

12:30 to 1:15 p.m.           Mucho Mariachi Trio

1:30 to 2:15 p.m.             Mapapa African Acrobats

2:30 to 3:15 p.m.             Vincent Santamaria Band

3:30 to 4:15 p.m.             Mapapa African Acrobats

4:30 to 4:45 p.m.            Indian dancers presented by local performers

4:45 to 5 p.m.                 Greek dancers presented by local performers

#30 / 9-28-04


Last Published: September 28, 2004 9:34 AM
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