NEW WINDSOR — On any given day, the New Windsor Service Center may distribute blankets to Bolivia or goats to Ghana.
This time, the world returns the favor, as "International Festival '91, A Circle of Friends" brings the cultures of the world to the center's grounds from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, rain or shine.
"It's a time for fun and fellowship," said Sheila Buttner, manager of promotion and publications for SERRV and a member of the event'ssteering committee.
SERRV, a 44-year-old, non-profit organizationthat aids the poor of the Third World through sales of crafts, is owned and operated by the Church of the Brethren, and formerly was called Sales Exchange for Refugees, Rehabilitation and Vocations.
Planners hope to make the free event an annual occasion, promising visitors a cornucopia of international cultures and entertainment.
"People are looking for ways to promote harmony," said Terri Meushaw, the marketing associate for center operations. "We hope it's the start ofsomething that will last."
On tap are a Parade of Flags, with high school students carrying flags representing 20 countries; a Scottish bagpiper; the Trinidad and Tobago Baltimore Steel Orchestra; the Kisaragi Kai Japanese Dancers; the Umoja Sassa African storytellers; Itzqueye, a Latin dance band; and the Gallaudet University Dance Co.
Also planned are cultural booths, numerous ethnic foods, handcrafteditems and activities for the whole family, including a chance to "learn" Swahili or have your face painted.
Festival food offerings, served up by area clubs, service groups and churches, run the gamut from pelo -- Persian rice with vegetables -- to Haitian sweet potato bread. Plenty of all-American hotdogs and apple pie also will be available.
Visitors are encouraged not to miss the International Gift Shop, which offers one-of-a-kind selections from 40 countries around the globe, with about half the purchase price going to Third World craftsmen.
SERRV director Robert Chase originally approached D. MillerDavis, director of center operations, with the idea for the festival, Meushaw said.
"It was his hope to have a festival to make peopleaware of the programs available at the service center and to offer acultural experience to the people in Carroll County in a fun way," Meushaw said.
Steering committee members Meushaw, Buttner and Jean Waagbo, the assistant to SERRV's director, began planning the festival a year ago. An advisory committee comprised of 19 community membersassisted in the planning.
Chase oversees financial details for the festival, and Davis, who is responsible for the conference and distribution centers, buildings and 26-acre grounds, handles logistics.
INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL '91 EVENTS
* 10-10:30 a.m., Parade of Flags;John McCruden, Scottish bagpiper; representatives from Carroll Christian, Liberty, South Carroll and Westminster high schools; parade marshal is New Windsor Mayor Jim Carlisle.
* 10:30-10:45 a.m.: Greetings
* 10:45-11:45 a.m.: Trinidad and Tobago Baltimore Steel Orchestra
* 12-12:45 p.m.: Kisaragi Asian Dancers
* 1-2 p.m.: Umoja Sasa! African Storytellers
* 2:15-3:15 p.m.: Gallaudet University'sDance Company
* 3:30-4:30 p.m.: Itzqueye Latin American Band
*4:30 p.m.: Dedication of animals for shipment
* 4:45 p.m.: Circleof Friends with Itzqueye
GS: CARROLL COUNTY SUN GRAPHIC