The New Canaan YMCA will host its sixth annual international festival Sunday, March 4, from 1 to 4 p.m. The event will be held at the Y and is free and open to all in the community.

At the festival, families will have the opportunity to explore different cultures through fun and interactive activities, including performances, arts and crafts, and snacks from around the world. There will be live entertainment throughout the day, including a performance by "Infinite Roots," an African drumming band and Pender Keady Academy of Irish Dance, who will perform traditional Irish Dance. A new addition to the event this year will be the Korean Spirit and Culture Promotion Project, which will display traditional Korean dress that the children can try on, along with sharing traditional Korean customs and a film on Korea. An eclectic array of food will also be available, including dishes from Italy, Greece, Poland, Mexico and America.

"The International Festival was originally created because our Y wanted to be able to celebrate the different cultures we have in our community and among our membership," Nicole Jezairian, director of community engagement at the New Canaan YMCA and event organizer, said. "I feel it's so important that family and cultural traditions be carried out and shared. Even though we're all different, it's nice to have a place to come together and celebrate each other. Each year the festival has grown with more participants, activities, and attendees with more than 300 people attending last year's festival."

The international festival is a part of the New Canaan YMCA's international initiatives, which are aligned to educate and engage members of the community about different cultures throughout the world, some of which may be in need. As another component of its international initiative, the Y has had an ongoing partnership with Facing the Future, a child development center in Kibera, Africa, one of the largest slums in the world. Information and photos will also be featured at the festival.

For additional information about the festival contact Nicole Jezairian at 203-966-4528, ext. 157 or email

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Founded in 1954 by a group of community volunteers, the New Canaan YMCA is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to enrich all people in spirit, mind, and body. As an inclusive community service organization, the YMCA turns away no one for reasons of race, religion, or economic background and last year awarded nearly $340,000 in direct financial assistance. Serving the communities of New Canaan, Pound Ridge and South Salem, the YMCA also strives to partner with a variety of outside organizations to further its role as a community service provider.