Food from more than a dozen nations. Costumes, artifacts, cultural items and arts and crafts from more than 100. That’s what awaited guests at the South Carolina State Fairgrounds last weekend, because the Columbia International Festival was back.

After a cancellation in 2020 due to COVID-19, the event returned for its 25th year beginning Saturday, and continued Sunday from noon until 7 p.m.

The festival is the largest annual international event in South Carolina, and drew an average of around 20,000 people in previous years.

“The kids are having fun and learning so much,” Walker Cason said Saturday. “I’ve mostly got my eye on the food.”

The festival included booths with displays from many countries, as well as performances on stage featuring cultural entertainment from around the globe.

Lots of clothing, crafts and jewelry are for sale, along with, of course, the food.

One annual highlight for those who attended Sunday was the children’s international fashion show at 4 p.m., with kids dressed in traditional garb from many nations.

For more information and tickets, visit

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