Hickory – After a two-year hiatus, Challenger’s famous International Festival will be returning. This family-friendly event will be held on Saturday, March 26th, from 11-2 pm to the campus of St. Stephens high school. The event is sponsored by Challenger Early College High School and is always highly anticipated for the food and entertainment.

While the event is held at St. Stephen’s High School, it is actually sponsored by Challenger Early College High School. Challenger is the early college high school that is located on the campus of CVCC. It is widely known for its highly diverse student population.

The International Festival is typically held in the fall, but has been canceled the last two years. The students and families at Challenger are super excited to have it back this year. They see it as a fun and incredible way to highlight the diversity within the school. Challenger parents always show up and show out with incredible, homemade food (and there are some terrific cooks in this crowd)!

Student performers (including dance troop and super talented singers) also showcase their talents with shows every hour, on the hour. The show starts at 11:00 am and repeats at noon and 1 pm.

This is a fun and affordable family outing and one the community has really embraced. It’s a great way to bring the community together and after COVID, people are eager to get together again.

Admission and entertainment is free. Food is priced separately, but highly affordable.

The International Festival is a fundraiser for the PSO (Parent Student Organization) which funds athletics, classroom supplies for teachers and student clubs, teacher appreciation activities, as well as student hardships.

Challenger Early College High School is a high school that meets on the campus of CVCC. From the pool of more than 300 students that apply each year, only one-hundred students are accepted with consideration to the level of education attained by their parents, family socio-economic status, ethnicity population at national and state universities, single-parent home status, teacher recommendations for success in an accelerated program. We have an incredibly diverse student population. When students complete the program, they will have both a high school diploma and an associate’s degree. For more than 10 years running, the Firebirds top the state and county in academics, attendance, and graduation rate.