Centreville Celebrating the community’s cultural diversity, the Centreville Immigration Forum (CIF) presents the Centreville International Showcase. A lighthearted evening of music, dance, food and friendship is slated for Saturday, April 26, from 6-9:30 p.m., at Centreville United Methodist Church.
The church is at 6400 Old Centreville Road in Centreville, and the festivities will take place in the gym. The theme is “One Centreville, One Community, One World,” and the event will highlight food and entertainment from around the globe.
“Living, shopping and dining out in Centreville is a true international experience,” said CIF Executive Director Alice Foltz. “The International Showcase reflects the amazing opportunities we have to share our lives and traditions, right in this region.” The idea, she said, is “to bring the community together for a family-friendly evening of fellowship and fun.”
Traditional foods from Guatemala, El Salvador, Korea and other countries, including pupusas from Two Amigos restaurant in Chantilly, will be available for purchase all evening, as will American snacks. And performers will present music and dance from China, El Salvador, India, Korea, Guatemala and Mexico.
There’ll also be a 50-50 raffle and a silent auction that includes one of the CLRC’s green garden boxes. The event is free, but donations will be accepted to help support the CIF and the Centreville Labor Resource Center (CLRC), which the CIF established and runs. Fundraising will also be accomplished via the food sales, raffle and silent auction.
Food and music will start at 6 p.m.; dancing begins at 6:45 p.m. “Dancers and singers with colorful costumes from many traditions will provide us with a beautiful evening,” said Foltz. “This is a cruise around the world, without leaving home.”
Back by popular demand, Sanjana Srikanth will perform two traditional Indian dances, including “Bharathnatyam;” Alberto Ramirez, original, contemporary, Guatemalan pop songs; Maehwa Dance Group, traditional Korean dance; Guatemalan Folkloric Dancers; and the Korean Harmonica Ensemble from Korean Central Presbyterian Church and St. Paul Chung Catholic Church in Chantilly will perform traditional Korean and international songs.
“They’ll be performing folk music from around the world,” said Foltz. “This special group has performed at the event for three years, offering both Korean and international favorites.”
There’ll also be about 30 minutes of salsa dancing for everyone, around 8 p.m., with a Latino dance instructor, plus what’s billed as “a dramatic, surprise dance from around the world.”
To see the latest acts that have signed up for the upcoming international celebration, go to www.centrevilleinternationalshowcase.org as plans for the showcase continue to grow.
Organizing the silent auction is the local teachers’ sorority, Alpha Delta Kappa. Items up for bid will include four dinners at Genghis Grill, two dinners at Picante, dinner at Coyote Grille, a home concert (cello and piano) by cellist Maria Baylock, a golf game with Supervisor Michael R. Frey (R-Sully), a food basket from Trader Joe’s and a week at a cabin in the Tuscarora Mountains near Gettysburg/Chambersburg, Penn.
Also looking forward to the showcase is CLRC Director Roberto Fernández. He said it’s really going to be something special and he hopes area residents will come and join the festivities.
“This event has become a tradition for promoting Centreville’s cultural diversity and is a wonderful way to meet neighbors,” he said. “Each year we can all learn a bit about other cultures, try great new dishes and feel closer as a community. The workers at the CLRC feel proud that they started this tradition and that the community has made it its own festival.”
The CIF organized in October 2010 and opened the Centreville Labor Resource Center (CLRC) in December 2011. It got Centreville’s day laborers off the streets, gave them a safe place to meet employers for jobs and ensured that they got paid for their efforts. The workers are also taking English classes at the center and learning new skills.
Most of them are immigrants from many countries in Latin America and Africa, and about 15 percent are American-born. The CLRC is the only walk-in job center in the local area. It charges no fees and is supported entirely by donations from foundations, churches and individuals. No government money is involved.