The Hampton Roads World Culture Festival: a Grand Showcase of 757 Diversity


Grace Kreber and students preparing for the World Culture Festival.

Gyzelle Kay Bagsic

This year’s World Culture Festival will be a spectacle of multicultural sights, sounds, and tastes that no Hampton Roads resident will want to miss.

The festival will take place from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Virginia Beach Convention Center on March 25, 2023.  It will highlight the 757’s rich diversity and art by including live music and dance, food vendors, inspirational speakers, and well-being sessions from the region’s global citizens.

“It’ll be a great time for students—or anyone really—to expand their knowledge and appreciation of international cultures,” expresses Kathleen Laroue, a National Board Certified AP World History and World History II teacher at Tallwood High School.

In addition, there will also be continental booths ranging from The Americas to Oceania, hosting various interactive activities for all to participate in.  Several students from Tallwood’s academy are excited to host them.

“I’m volunteering for the Oceania and Australia Booth,” states Ajax Balane, senior in the Global Studies and World Languages Academy.  Though he plans to lead a fun Aboriginal dot-coloring activity with his committee, Balane looks forward to “going to other booths and watching performances take place” the most.

Moreover, This festival will also conclude the five-month-long Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity (D.E.I.) celebration, which is a collaboration event with the City of Virginia Beach Mayor’s I.D.E.A. Commission led by Dr. Amelia Ross-Hammond.

Opening the D.E.I. celebration, a mini cultural prequel event took place at Virginia Wesleyan University on October 20, 2022.  It soft-launched some of the performances and cuisine that will be present at the upcoming World Culture Festival.

“The curtain raiser was actually really fun, even though it was short,” claims Santiago Smith-Jordan, senior in the Global Studies and World Languages Academy.  Smith-Jordan shows his high hopes for the upcoming festival, saying that “there are a lot of things that I look forward to seeing at the big event.”

Without a doubt, the World Culture Festival is one of the most anticipated cultural exhibitions for the Hampton Roads community.  Its presence will greatly expand on the region’s already-phenomenal sense of inclusivity and diversity.