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A flurry of skirts, a fanfare of instruments, and a bright array of costumes will highlight the third annual Utah's Dixie International Folkfest this week in St. George. Not to mention a smattering of languages from seven different countries. More than 200 dancers and musicians will make up authentic folk ensembles from Argentina, New Zealand, Polish/Canadian, Russia, Italy, Sweden and the United States.

"What started as a dream has become a reality," said Bridget Winward, folkfest director. "Bringing St. George to the attention of many different countries through this unique cultural exchange has been exciting to many people."Festivities are scheduled to begin Monday with a Family Evening Performance at 8 p.m. in the Dixie Center. Another performance will take place at the Dixie College O.C. Tanner Amphitheater at Zion National Park Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. followed by the Grand Circle Multimedia film. The Gala Evening Performance will be Friday at 8 p.m. in the Dixie Center. Tickets for these performances are on sale at the Dixie Center, R & K Bookstore and Hurst Ben Franklin Store.

Additional activities associated with the folkfest include a Humanities Forum "Cultural Corners" at 9 a.m. Wednesday in the Dunford Auditorium of the Browning Building (Dixie College). Craig Miller, of the Utah Arts Council, will lead the discussion as well as a panel discussion featuring the directors and one couple in costume from each invited country. Also, "International Day" will be held at the Red Cliffs Mall Thursday. Miniperformances from the various countries will be featured from noon to 3 p.m., and an International Parade will then start at 4 p.m. "Cultural Corners" and "International Day" are free to the public.

"This Dixie Folkfest will be much more than simply an evening of entertainment," said Winward. "It is an insight into the lives of people from diverse cultural backgrounds. It is a look at their hopes, dreams and their history as a nation. There is a story told in their movement and expression."

Winward said audiences will experience authentic folk music from around the world with costumes, music, song and dance of the highest caliber.

For more information about Utah's Dixie International Folkfest, call 628-7003.