West Side News

58th International Festival scheduled for Nov. 2, 3

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When the members of the United Nations Association, Columbus Chapter, launched an international festival nearly six decades ago, Columbus wasn't all that international.

Nevertheless, the idea caught on, and the 58th edition of the Columbus International Festival is set for Nov. 2 and 3 at the Franklin County Veterans Memorial, 300 W. Broad St.

The hours will be 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Nov. 2 and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Nov. 3.

Admission is $7 for adults, $5 for senior citizens and students, and $2 for children over age 5.

Dr. J.S. Jindal, a retired dentist from Dublin whose practice was in Clintonville, is once again chairman of the event.

He became involved with putting on the celebration of diversity and the various cultures represented in central Ohio 45 years ago.

"We are really fortunate that so many countries, cultures and religions live together in this city," Jindal said.

"Our mission is enhancing cultural education, peace, nonviolence and unity awareness," the event chairman wrote in a letter posted to the website for the festival, www.CIFOhio.org.

"This family-friendly, safe, clean and economical venue provides nonstop cultural entertainment, music and martial arts stage performances," Jindal wrote.

"Guests enjoy the ethnic cuisine, sweets and specialties from many countries of the world.

"Families can shop the cultural clothing, jewelry, artifacts, paintings and fashion items from the exhibitors who represent over 80 countries and cultures.

"The Columbus International Festival officers a unique opportunity to our community and businesses to support, encourage and participate in cultural diversity education to promote the life of peace and nonviolence."

"It takes a whole year to plan it, and really dedicated volunteers," Jindal said in an interview.

A tradition that began two years ago, that of having a federal court judge swear in new U.S. citizens at a naturalization ceremony, will return again this year, Jindal said.

More than 300 people have become citizens during the last two festivals.

"This is the only festival which involves all the cultures and countries in one place," Jindal said.

More information is available at the festival website.

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