The World of Montgomery Festival is held each year in October to celebrate the rich diversity of Montgomery County through international music, food, dance, culturally authentic arts demos, hands-on activities, and more.
Held at Montgomery College Rockville, the 9th annual family-friendly event will inspire multicultural appreciation and understanding by spotlighting the cultures of China, El Salvador, Ethiopia, and India, which are the four largest immigrant populations in Montgomery County. All four nations have established Sisters City relationships with the County.
Montgomery County has become a majority minority community and one of the most culturally diverse in the nation. Today, one-third of its residents were not born in the United States. And, among the 156,000 students enrolled in its public schools, 138 distinct languages from 157 countries are spoken at home.
At the festival’s International Village, children and adults will experience these leading cultures by participating in a wide variety of hands-on activities, including traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremonies, dancing with a Chinese dragon, henna art painting, and craft-making. The scents of spices will also envelop festival goers as they explore the Global Spice Market, watch international chefs prepare regional dishes in the Global Kitchen, and try their own hand at making tortillas, rice balls and roti.
The two performance stages will spotlight dancers and musicians from across the world, including an Ethiopian drumming and dance group, Indian dancers performing a harvest celebration, and an El Salvadoran marching band.
The centerpiece of the day is the Parade of Cultures led by the feet pounding rhythms of traditional African drummers, Latin American dancers, and Asian performers in native dress who encircled the festival grounds. The parade ended at the main stage where government officials joined festival sponsors to reinforce the need for multicultural understanding to make Montgomery County the most welcoming community in the country.