[Photo courtesy of: Latin American Coalition. The Latin American Festival returns to Charlotte Saturday, October 8, 2016.]

by Liz Rothaus Bertrand

Want to experience the world? Open your door and walk outside!

Thanks, in part, to its growing reputation as an international business hub, Charlotte is home to an increasingly culturally diverse community.

That’s good news for all of us since it brings new opportunities to discover cultures and traditions from around the world to our own backyard. Charlotte hosts dozens of international festivals throughout the year. Here’s a list of some of our favorites coming this fall. Have something to add? Leave us a note in the comments section!

Festival of India

Sept. 17 – 18, 2016

Belk Theater | 130 N. Tryon St., Charlotte 

Admission: $6 online, $5 at the door (free for kids under age 10)

Experience Indian culture through authentic cuisine, arts, crafts, and performances including modern (Bollywood) and classical Indian dance.

Waldhorn Restaurant’s Oktoberfest

Friday & Saturdays, Sept. 23 – Oct. 14, 2016

Waldhorn Restaurant | 12101 Lancaster Highway, Pineville 

Admission: $4 (free for children 11 and under). Cash only.

Polka the night away under a tent with live music, German beer, brats, wienerschnitzel, and other festive fare available for purchase.

UNC Charlotte’s 41st Annual International Festival

Sept. 24, 2016

UNC- Charlotte Main Campus |9201 University City Blvd., Charlotte

Admission: free

More than 50 nations are represented at this family-friendly event through arts and entertainment, crafts, and cuisine.

Latin American Festival

Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016

Symphony Park at South Park Mall | 4400 Sharon Rd., Charlotte

Admission: $5 (free for children 8 and under)

With live music, including Grammy Award-winning performers like Nicaraguan Salsa singer Luis Enrique, festival attendees can dance their way through a huge event encompassing authentic food, arts, culture, and artisinal crafts from a variety of Latin American traditions.

Beaujolais Nouveau Festival

Nov. 17, 2016

Levine Museum of the New South | 200 E. 7th St., Charlotte

Admission:  $40 Alliance Francaise members / $55 non-members

Charlotte is one of only 16 American cities recognized by the Union Interprofessionelle des Vins du Beaujolais as hosting an official Beaujolais Celebration, toasting the first grape harvest of the season. Sample the newest Beaujolais wines, enjoy live jazz, and sample French foods at this festive event.


Fridays & Saturdays, Dec. 2 – 17, 2016

Olde Mecklenburg Brewery | 4150 Yancey Rd., Charlotte

Seasonal brews and steaming mugs of spiced, red wine will warm you up as you browse this traditional, German-style outdoor “Christmas Market” with local vendors selling gifts and baked goods.


And keep your eye out for these events next fall:

Yiasou Greek Festival

Early Sept. 2017

Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 600 East Blvd., Charlotte 

One of Charlotte’s biggest festivals, this event celebrates Greek culture with food, exhibits and performances, as well as kids’ carnival-style rides.

Taste of the World

Fall 2017

This guided food tour highlighting the rich diversity of restaurants on Charlotte’s East side is already sold out for 2016 but keep it on your radar for Fall 2017.

The Language Academy of the Carolinas offers small group and private classes in 8 different languages in 4 convenient Charlotte area locations as well as translation services. Contact us at info@carolinalanguage.com or 704.548.0048 for more information.