Celebrate diverse cultures at international festival at Modesto Junior College

The world becomes a much smaller place Saturday – small enough, in fact, to squeeze onto the Modesto Junior College East Campus for the 22nd annual International Heritage Festival.

Billed as a trip around the world, the free voyage kicks off at 11 a.m. with presentations by Modesto Poet Laureate Gillian Wegner, YES Company soloist Angel Hermosillo, and a parade of flags with participants sporting traditional international costumes.

Festival “passengers” can weave their way throughout the countries represented, visiting the varied displays; children can enjoy crafts and collect stamps and stickers while getting a real-life lesson about cultures, history, geography and art.

Music, dance and food will be offered at the daylong event, geared to showcase the region’s kaleidoscope of heritages and celebrate a shared American experience. The event is put together by the all-volunteer, nonprofit International Heritage Festival Committee.

Among countries set to be represented are Italy, China, El Salvador, Scotland, Guatemala, France, Ireland, Egypt, Norway, India, Vietnam and Liberia, as well as the culture of Assyria and others.