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Uptown Chinese Festival

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Confucius Institute throws community celebration

By Callie Furnas, For The Miami Student

Miami University's Confucius Institute is hosting its first Chinese Festival this Friday, Sept. 26 as a celebration of global Confucius Institute Day (CI Day).

The Oxford Visitors' Bureau is partnering with the Confucius Institute to host the event, which will be free to students and community members.

According to Chen Zhao, the director of Miami's Confucius Institute, the event is being held in honor of the 10th anniversary of the organization's establishment of over 1,000 branches across the globe. The Miami Confucius Institute was the first of four established in the state of Ohio.

The event will commence on campus at 2 p.m. at Cook Field with Tai Chi training and a performance to follow. Zhao said there would be white kites flown in from China that attendees of the event will decorate and fly to conclude the on-campus portion of the celebration.

"This event is not just for Miami staff, faculty and students but also for the entire local community," Zhao said.

The Institute also invited eight high schools from the Dayton and Columbus area to attend.

"250 students and teachers are coming to Oxford to celebrate," Zhao said "These teachers will be taking their Chinese learning students to meet us on CI Day."

According to Jessica Greene, the director of the Oxford Visitors' Bureau, the event will then move to Uptown Park at 5:30 p.m. beginning with, "all kinds of Chinese cultural activities, games, food tasting, and Chinese language learning."

"Booths are run by high school students who have learned all about Chinese culture" Zhao said. "This gives them the opportunity to show off what they have learned."

Those attending the festival will have access to a wide range of activities.

"Some of the activities will include things such as "ace painting, calligraphy, small outdoor games for children, and other fun things," Zhao said. "We will also have authentic Chinese food for tasting".

There will be a photo contest, which is open to anyone who attends and takes photos of the event. First place will receive $100, second place $50, and third place $30. Photos must be sent to the Confucius Institute by 10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 27 in order to participate in the contest.

The evening will conclude with Chinese cultural performances including Miami students playing authentic Chinese music.

The Confucius Institute encourages students to attend more of their upcoming events including a Chinese movie night and lecture tomorrow from 6 to 8 p.m.