Around the world in a day or two.
That’s the premise of the 41st edition of the Rochester World Festival, which will be held Friday and Saturday at Mayo High School.
The festival opens with a cultural program at 7 p.m. Friday, April 29, while Saturday is given over to cultural displays, ethnic foods and treats, a parade of nations, an international market place, live performances and kids’ activities.
“It’s a great idea,” said Brian Faloon, president of the Rochester International Association, which puts on the festival. “There are many cultures living here. This gives them a chance to show their culture to the people of Rochester.”
That, in fact, is how Faloon got involved. After moving here four years ago from Northern Ireland, Faloon put together a display about his home country for the World Festival. “I found that people were happy to engage and talk with you,” he said. “There’sa lot of positivity around. The atmosphere is great.”
And so is the food, which this year will include dishes from India, Bosnia, Sudan, Singapore and other cuisines.
“People like that element of the festival,” Faloon said. “It’s always a big draw.”
The festival, which was founded in 1976, attracts up to 1,500 on Saturday in a typical year and up to 250 for the Friday night cultural show.
This year’s cultural show will include performances by Rochester Chinese School, the Phil-Am Association, the Cultural Association of Bengali, Rochester Vidhyalaya and others.
Faloon will be too busy with other duties at this year’s festival to set up his Northern Ireland cultural display. But he offered this tidbit about the small country, which is actually part of the United Kingdom: “A lot of ‘Game of Thrones’ has been filmed in Northern Ireland,” he said.
What: Rochester World Festival
When: 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday (cultural performances), 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday (cultural displays, ethnic foods, parade of nations, children’s activities, market place, live entertainment).
Where; Mayo High School, 1420 11th Ave. SE
Admission: Friday: $8 adults, $4 children, $20 family