WKU volunteers to help at Bowling Green International Festival

Katherine Wade

More volunteers than ever are helping out with this year’s Bowling Green International Festival.

The International Festival is set for 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday at Circus Square Park. Admission is $3.

This year, the International Festival theme is “People Helping People.” The theme was chosen to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Peace Corps.

Linda Pickle, a retired WKU professor who has been volunteer coordinator for the festival for four years, said they have 145 volunteers so far.

“They’re a wonderful bunch of people and very reliable,” she said.

Pickle said that for the first time, a fraternity, Phi Delta Theta, is volunteering. The fraternity will help tear down the site on Saturday evening when the festival is over.

“That’s a very important part of what we do because if we don’t have every piece of trash cleaned up by midnight on Saturday, we have to pay for another day of rental,” she said. “Those guys are going to be a big help for us.”

Also for the first time, the WKU ALIVE Center for Community Partnerships is setting up a section for people to learn about diverse volunteer opportunities in the community.

Nadia De Leon, coordinator for community engagement for the ALIVE Center, said there will be a multitude of information available.

“We want people to know about all these things, get involved and stay engaged for more than one day,” she said.

Jason Swift, an international graduate student and scholar advisor for the Office of International Student and Scholar Services, said that many international student clubs on campus will have booths this year, including the Saudi Club, the Indian Student Association, the Chinese Students Association and the Korean Students Association.

“Some will bring music, food, ornaments from their culture and some will dress up and perform a traditional dance or skit,” he said.

Swift said he thinks it’s important to have the international clubs presence at the festival.

“We think it gives an excellent opportunity for international students to meet people from other cultures and share their own culture with everyone,” he said.

Pickle said she thinks there are more volunteers this year because more professors are requiring student engagement in their classes. She said she hopes all students will come and enjoy the festival.

“It’s a full day of entertainment,” she said. “There are plenty of booths to look at, food all over the place, and the weather is supposed to be perfect…You really can come and spend all day.”