New date will give planners time to re-imagine festival, expand audience
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
dancer at cultural diversity festival
Dancing is one of many activities at the annual Celebrating Cultural Diversity Festival. File photo by Tim Schoon.

This year, the University of Iowa Celebrating Cultural Diversity Festival will be Sunday, Sept. 29 as a kick-off to the week’s homecoming events, creating a new fall tradition for a popular event that has traditionally been held during the spring semester for the past 22 years.

The event, which annually draws an estimated 5,000 participants, will also be held outside for the first time in Hubbard Park with an inclement weather back up location of the UI Field House, where the event has been held in the past.

"We are very excited that we can continue this well known and much loved tradition in our community," says Georgina Dodge, UI chief diversity officer. "Due to renovation of the UI Field House, the planning committee this year was unable to secure a suitable venue in the spring. However, this created an opportunity to have discussions about the significance of the festival and to re-imagine a new path forward."

"We are very excited that we can continue this well known and much loved tradition in our community."
—Georgina Dodge, UI chief diversity officer

Dodge says that by moving the festival to the fall semester as part of UI Homecoming’s long tradition, students and guests will be invited early in the academic year to experience a strong example of the university’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.

"In addition to drawing our core supporters, we also hope the timing will expand our audience to include more current UI students, especially new students, and alumni who might be back in town," Dodge says.

Guests will be invited to celebrate and explore the many cultures represented in the community through music, dance, learning activities, food, games, and more. The event is free and open to the public.

The festival is sponsored by the UI Chief Diversity Office and supported by the Center for Student Involvement and Leadership in the Division of Student Life and UI International Programs.

Planning for this large collaborative effort is underway, and those interested in participating, volunteering, or learning more can visit the festival’s website, which will continue to be updated as plans are finalized at

For more information, contact the festival’s planning chairs, Roy Salcedo at or 319-335-3059 or Lindsay Jarratt at or 319-335-0705.

For more information about Diversity@Iowa, visit