The International Institute of Metropolitan Detroit and the City of Southfield sponsor the International Festival, which will take place on November 18 and 19, 2016, at the City of Southfield's Civic Center Pavilion, at 26000 Evergreen Road, Southfield, Michigan. This is an annual tradition that dates back to 1926. It has been previously called the "Original Old World Market" and the "All World Market." According to a history prepared by Frank Angelo, past International Institute President, "The Original Old World Market developed from recession necessity. In 1926, when Detroit first felt the pangs of economic woes, immigrants were among the first to lose their jobs. The Institute set aside a day on which members of the hard hit families could bring samples of their national handicraft such as wood carvings and needlework, hoping to find buyers and earn desperately needed money. The sale was combined with programs of songs and dances and offered home made pastries and other delicacies. Today, the Old World Market presents much the same combination of foods and handicrafts to as many as 10,000 people, and involves hundreds of volunteers. It is the Institute's most important fund raising event."
The popular annual "International Festival" continues to this day. Visitors will be able to enjoy performances by some of the best local and regional cultural performing groups throughout the weekend, including Polish, Indian, African, Spanish, Irish, Chinese and many others. Attendees will also be able to buy imported and craft items, jewelry, books, food and other goods from many nations around the world. Unusual gift items can also be found in the large array of ethnic arts and crafts.
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