UIW Welcomes Spring with Annual Festival of Colors

April 5, 2024

On Tuesday, March 26, UIW celebrated its annual Festival of Colors. The festival has been held for over 11 years and seeks to highlight the global diversity that is present within the University’s community.

“Festival of Colors and the Holi Celebration are both ways that help to showcase spring celebrations from around the world,” shared Kelsey Dwyer, UIW’s international student immigration advisor and event contributor. “Even when cultures are different, UIW’s domestic and international students can find common ground to better understand and appreciate one another.”

The day-long event welcomed local and global vendors that sold diverse pieces of art, jewelry, foods and other products. In addition, the University welcomed dancers to perform intricate dances that showcased the beauty of their own cultures with the community.

Dwyer shared that the welcoming of these performances added to the event by demonstrating that beauty can be found in different areas of life, especially in music and dance. These performers help introduce attendees to cultures and performances that they may have otherwise never been exposed to.


The day ended in a cascade of colors as University students, faculty and community members participated in the Holi color throw. Holi is a Hindu festival that is celebrated to welcome spring by releasing one’s inhibitions and starting fresh. Holi festivals often include a color throw where attendees throw multicolored powders into the air, covering each other in vibrant hues. To some, the colors symbolize a commitment to living a vibrant new life. Others believe that washing the colors away helps them to cleanse their sins and start anew.

“I’m sure I’m with the majority when I say my favorite part was the color throw,” expressed Dwyer. “Getting to let loose and be goofy is a way to share happiness with one another was so much fun. I’m so glad I was able to take part in that!”

Dwyer, along with others involved in the planning of the event, were pleased with the quality of the day’s festivities. Dwyer particularly felt that students were able to learn about diverse cultures from around the globe.

“I think everyone can benefit from new cultural experiences,” she noted. “We hope that as students obtain a degree at UIW, they learn more than just what their degree plan says and get the opportunity to expand their world view. UIW wants to prepare students for the job market, which increasingly values individuals who understand international cultures, faiths and markets.”