International Foodfest 2016: Students enjoy a multicultural event

Photo credit: Gettysburg College Flickr

Photo credit: Gettysburg College Flickr

By Sarah Kirkpatrick, Contributing Writer

On Friday, September 23, Servo closed early but there was no shortage of delicious smells wafting across campus by dinnertime. Dedicated staff members took to the streets for Gettysburg’s first International Foodfest, closing down West Lincoln Avenue to offer international food to anyone who swiped their Gettysburg student ID at the entrance. As part of the Year of Food, the International Foodfest allowed students to learn more about international food issues while enjoying a street fair, music and cultural activities.

From 4:30 to 7:00 that evening, campus seemed to transform into an exotic multicultural marketplace. Students stopped at food tents to enjoy favorites such as chicken curry, Iranian kofta kebabs, locally grown apples, coconut pudding, oysters and even tacos from Servo’s food truck. Many took the opportunity to be adventurous by trying foods that they had never tasted before. “I had never eaten raw shellfish before I tried some at the Mediterranean booth,” said first-year Ben Fruchtl. “It was definitely different, but I enjoyed it.”

After loading up on food, students made their way over to a separate internationally-themed seating area on the lawn outside Specialty Dining. Here, festival goers could relax and talk to friends while enjoying the ambiance of multicultural decorations.

However, food was not the only exciting part of the festival. Live musical entertainment from Gettysburg’s Drop the Octave and Upscale a capella groups as well as a DJ and a limbo competition helped set the mood for an enjoyable evening. As part of Gettysburg’s Year of Food, the festival also featured an educational element. Students could look at posters to learn about sustainable agriculture, participate in geography trivia and put stickers on a world map to indicate the places they had traveled. Talented henna tattoo artists even came out to the festival to share their culture with the community. “The two girls who did my henna were really nice and their artwork was beautiful,” said first-year Kelly Curran. “It was definitely worth it.”

Was the event as success? First-year Maverick Keagan thought so. “The selection of food was amazing. I felt like I had gone on a journey around the world after my meal,” he said. For Keagan, the highlights of the festival included the shrimp and the pomegranate tea.

Others echoed his feelings. “I fully endorse Foodfest and think it should be continued in the future,” said Fruchtl. Foodfest was more than just a fun Friday night event. It was a reminder of our community’s rich diversity and the reality that we are all connected by a common experience: eating.

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