Aizu Wakamatsu International Festival September 30th- Now Recruiting!

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Help bring the world closer to Aizu on Sunday, September 30th!

Did you know Aizu Wakamatsu has 740 foreign residents from over 40 countries? Come celebrate the diverse cultures of our city’s residents with our international festival, held once every two years, and which attracts over 2,000 visitors.

Learn about the colorful cultures of the world without having to leave the city and make new friends and new experiences.

Every two years, the Aizu Wakamatsu International Association holds an event where you can travel around the entire globe without leaving the Aizu Castle gym! ‘How?’ you may ask. At the Aizu International Festival! Outside of the castle gym, over a dozen international food stands set up. In years past you could eat American-style pulled pork barbecue, Canadian hot dogs, Korean chijimi, Nepali momo and more before even setting foot inside of the castle gym.

Inside the gym, a variety of booths are set up. Some showcase different countries and cultures, others are to help promote and support local charities and some are selling international goods and crafts. During the last international festival just some of the things that you could do included hunting dragons with Saint George at the U.K. booth and trying some infamous Vegemite at the Australia booth.

Besides the standard booths, there is a play area for small children, a face painting corner (come see me there!), and various performaces on stage ranging from karaoke contests, dance groups, traditional instrumental performances, magic shows, and more.

Sound like your cup of tea? The Aizu Wakamatsu International Association is currently recruiting for the festival, which will be held on Sunday, September 30th. They are looking for people interested in running food stalls as well as country booths in the gym.

The country booths are what we FuJETs are best at helping out with! Why not take this opportunity to come and volunteer in the Samurai City of Aizu Wakamatsu and help share your country and culture? You can sign up to lead a table of your own or to help support the leader of another country. Not sure what you can do? Need someone to brainstorm ideas with? Aizu Wakamatsu’s lovely CIR, Tammy (mail@awia.jp), will be able to help answer any questions you may have! (And of course, as a multiple-time veteran of this event, you are always free to message me too!)

This may sound exhausting but I can guarantee that it is fun and a great experience. You’ll get to meet local children, other foreigners from around the globe, and give a little something back to community in the form of your awesome selves. Even if you don’t live in the Aizu area, we’d love for you to come and volunteer. If you need help with transportation, directions, or need help finding a place to crash the night before, again please don’t hesitate to contact any of us Aizu-area folks for help!

So– what are you waiting for? Sign up today using the google form here! After all, sharing and learning about cultures from all over the world is part of why we all came here to the Lucky Island of Fukushima!

Details and General Schedule from Festivals Past (These times are /not/ confirmed for this year but are here to help you get an idea of what volunteering this year will be like based on previous festivals!) Generally, volunteering for the entire day of the festival will be from 8AM~4PM but if you are only able to come for part of the day, we are happy to have you volunteer!

If you are running/helping support a booth at the festival:

  • Set up time is available the day before, from 6:00pm to 8:30pm, and on the day of the festival, from 8:00am to 10:00am.

If you are volunteering with the festival:

  • Festival Set-up: Saturday, September 29th, any time from 2:00pm to 8:00pm. A volunteer meeting will be held at 6:00pm.
  • Festival Day: Sunday, September 30th, any time from 7:30am to 4:30pm.
  • Tea and a bento will be supplied for volunteers.
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