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Town, gown celebrate International Women’s Day during annual festival (PHOTOS)


Members of the Ohio University and greater Athens communities came together this past weekend to celebrate OHIO’s signature Women’s History Month event.

The ninth annual International Women’s Day Festival was held Sunday, March 19, in the Baker University Ballroom, bringing town and gown together for an afternoon of celebration, reflection and education. The event served as Ohio University’s observation of International Women’s Day, a global celebration held on March 8, which coincided with the University’s Spring Break. 

This year’s event featured educational displays, vendors and – the highlight of the day – performances, all designed to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women while also acknowledging the progress yet to be made and all highlighting this year’s theme, “Making a Difference.” More than 20 individuals or groups, representing diverse nationalities and backgrounds from throughout the OHIO and local communities, took to the stage at the event, showcasing their talents and their passions. 

Here are some highlights from this year’s event: 

Ohio University student Deepali Sharma hugs her son in the atrium of Baker University Center during this year’s International Women’s Day Festival.

Ohio University student Deepali Sharma hugs her son in the atrium of Baker University Center during this year’s International Women’s Day Festival. The pair participated in the festival’s annual fashion show, showcasing clothing worn around the world and sharing with the audience the clothing’s cultural significance.

Zoe Buccella, a student at Ohio University’s Eastern Campus, sings and plays acoustic guitar at the International Women's Day Festival.

Zoe Buccella, a student at Ohio University’s Eastern Campus, sings and plays acoustic guitar at the International Women's Day Festival.

Alexis Reed and her fellow MarvelOUs Dancers perform a dance routine. The MarvelOUs Dancers were one of four featured performances at the festival, kicking off each of the festival’s four hours.

Alexis Reed and her fellow MarvelOUs Dancers perform a dance routine. The MarvelOUs Dancers were one of four featured performances at the festival, kicking off each of the festival’s four hours.

Ohio University student Gabriela Fuentes performs the Bolivian dance "cueca" with her mother during the International Women's Day Festival.

Ohio University student Gabriela Fuentes performs the Bolivian dance "cueca" with her mother during the International Women's Day Festival.

Local high school student Miranda Scott wowed the audience with a baton-twirling performance at the International Women's Day Festival.

Local high school student Miranda Scott wowed the audience with a baton-twirling performance at the International Women's Day Festival.

Women of different nationalities model clothing from their home countries during the International Women's Day Festival’s always-popular fashion show.

Women of different nationalities model clothing from their home countries during the International Women's Day Festival’s always-popular fashion show.

Ohio University student Kelsey Henceroth and Anne Cooper-Chen, professor emerita in the Scripps College of Communication, perform a tap dance routine during the International Women's Day Festival.

Ohio University student Kelsey Henceroth and Anne Cooper-Chen, professor emerita in the Scripps College of Communication, perform a tap dance routine during the International Women's Day Festival.

Jan Griesinger, co-founder of the local Susan B. Anthony Memorial Unrest Home Womyn’s Land Trust, delivers a historical reading during the International Women's Day Festival.

Jan Griesinger, co-founder of the local Susan B. Anthony Memorial Unrest Home Womyn’s Land Trust, delivers a historical reading during the International Women's Day Festival.

Local artist Megan Wren performs a Stevie Nicks song at the International Women's Day Festival.

Local artist Megan Wren performs a Stevie Nicks song at the International Women's Day Festival.

This year’s International Women’s Day Festival was sponsored by Ohio University’s Women’s Center, the Multicultural Center, the International Student Union, the Black Student Cultural Programming Board, the Campus Involvement Center, the Senate Appropriations Committee, the Center for International Studies and International Student and Faculty Services.

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The International Women’s Day Festival is one of several Women’s History Month events occurring at OHIO. To see a complete lineup of events, click here