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Metro Newsroom 

Mayor Announces WorldFest 2008

Wednesday August 13, 2008

WorldFest to Celebrate Louisville’s Diversity
Globe-trotting international food and music festival set for Labor Day Weekend

With more than 80 languages spoken in Louisville’s schools and 50 percent of the city’s population growth coming from international residents, Louisville is more culturally diverse than ever. Mayor Jerry Abramson announced today that all of the community’s cultures and nationalities will be celebrated this Labor Day weekend at the sixth annual WorldFest. The free festival – which drew more than 100,000 people last year – is set for Friday and Saturday, August 29 and 30 from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

“Louisville has a long history of embracing people and cultures from all over the world,” said Major Jerry Abramson. “These international residents enrich our city with great restaurants and talented artisans and musicians. WorldFest allows us to celebrate all of our traditions and cultures.”

A World of Performances is the highlight of WorldFest, including non-stop Latin and Celtic rock, gypsy jazz and reggae music and dance from local and national acts, as well as Salsa, Merengue, Irish, Caribbean, African, Flamenco, Indian and Chinese dance. Headlining performances include Latin rock by Del Castillo from Austin, Texas; the John Jorgenson Quintet and Celtic rock by the Glengarry Bhoys.

WorldFest features Louisville’s largest collection of ethnic restaurants at one event. More than 30 food vendors will offer unique cuisines from all over the globe. Chef Nancy Russman returns with her “Cooking Up Cultures” demonstrations on international cuisine to show home chefs how to broaden their culinary horizons.

A new International Beverages pavilion features the Budweiser International Bier Garten, the Diageo Wine & Spirits and the Java Coffee Shop and offers wine, spirits and coffee from around the world

The popular World of Children area offers plenty of entertainment for children and families including free international crafts and games. New this year are Strassenfest Germany and Fiesta Latina offering music, art, cooking and folk traditions from Germany and Latin America. More than 100 booths provide a unique introduction to the dozens of international cultures represented in Louisville.

Friday, more than 600 people from 50 countries will take their oath of U.S. citizenship at a naturalization ceremony at the Kentucky International Convention Center. Saturday is highlighted by the Parade of Cultures which begins at noon at 6th & Market. For a full schedule of events, visit

WorldFest has generous support from local organizations. Our top sponsors are ValuMarket and Al Dia en America with support by Budweiser, Diageo, Kentucky Lottery, La Caliente Radio and Louisville Public Media’s WFPK 91.9 FM.

Volunteers are still needed. For more information on WorldFest or volunteering, contact MetroCall 311 or visit



Worldfest is Friday and Saturday of Labor Day weekend, August 29 and 30, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on the Belvedere, located at Fifth and Main Streets. Admission is free with international food, wine, spirits and beer and crafts available for purchase. WorldFest features continuous live music, including headliner acts Friday and Saturday nights. Parking is available on nearby streets.

WorldFest 2008

Friday, August 29, 2008

2 p.m. Naturalization Ceremony Welcome over 600 new citizens at the region’s largest naturalization ceremony, at the Kentucky International Convention Center

Saturday, August 30, 2008

12 p.m. Parade of Cultures: A celebration of Louisville’s cultural richness, starting

at 6th and Market Streets

A World of Performances…

Friday, August 29, 2008

Main Stage

11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. Kalor Afro Cuban music

1 – 2 p.m. Ahel El Nagam & Gypsies of the Nile Middle Eastern

music and belly dance

2 – 3 p.m. Sahara Gypsies Russian and Arabic fusion music

3 – 4 p.m. Nora, Ben and Eli Traditional acoustic folk music

4 – 5 p.m. Wiñay Bolivian music

5 – 6 p.m. Ohun Afrobeat Band Afrobeat music

6 – 7 p.m. River City Drum Corps African-American drum

7 – 8 p.m. Cosa Seria Salsa, meringue and bolero music

8 – 9 p.m. Hussam Al Aydi & Baladna Arabic music and dance

9:30 – 11p.m. Del Castillo Latin rock

Fountain Stage

11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Rheingold Band German music

1– 2 p.m. Desperados Steel and Drum Band Calypso

2 – 4 p.m. WFPK International Music

4 – 5 p.m. Guilderoy Byrne Irish music

5 – 6 p.m. Heaven and Earth 360 African-American spoken word and music

6 – 7 p.m. The Derby Boys Irish music

7:30 – 9:30 p.m. John Jorgenson Quintet Gypsy jazz

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Main Stage

11 – 12 p.m. Cloigheann Traditional Irish and bluegrass music

12 – 1 p.m. Men of Thunda Celtic drums and bagpipe music

1 – 2 p.m. Caribbean Conspiracy Calypso and Caribbean music

2 – 3 p.m. Ruric Amari and the Samovar Dance Theater American

belly dancing

3 – 3:30 p.m. Angleterre Morris Dancers Celtic dancers

3:30 – 4 p.m. Flamenco dance and music

4 – 5 p.m. Swing 39 French Cabaret/Chanson music

5 – 6 p.m. Silk Belly Dance Troupe

6 – 7 p.m. Ut Gret featuring Ruric Amari Intl. fusion, belly dancing

7 – 8 p.m. Belize Dance & Music Caribbean, African, Latino, Soca fusion

8 – 9:30 p.m. Salsa Rhythms Band Salsa and merengue ensemble

9:30 – 11 p.m. Glengarry Bhoys Celtic rock music

Fountain Stage

11 a.m. – 12 p.m. Malaika – Rwandan Dancers African Dance

12 – 1 p.m. Bosanski Bulbuli Bosnian Dance

1 – 1:30 p.m. Kyanna Chinese School Chinese youth dance

1:30 – 2 p.m. Arcoiris Latino Mexican dance

2 – 3 p.m. Kyene Drum Ensemble African drum and stilt dancer

3 – 3:30 p.m. Louisville Pipe Band Drum ensemble

3:30 – 4 p.m. Dances of India Classical and modern Indian dance

4 – 5 p.m. Imani Dance Company African dance

5 – 6 p.m. lamenco Louisville Flamenco dance

6 – 7:30 p.m. Alma Gitana Gypsy soul music

7:30 – 9:30 p.m. The Ark Band Reggae

A World of International Beverages…

Budweiser International Bier Garten, International Wine, Cocktails and the Java Brewing Company Cafe. International spirits and coffee tastings. Happy Hour Specials, Friday, 4 to 6 p.m.

A World of Cuisine...

A & A Concessions [AMERICAN], Asiatique Restaurant [ASIAN FUSION], Assumption Greek Orthodox Church [GREEK], Budweiser Bier Garden, Café Glace [ITALIAN],

Coco’s Bakery [FRENCH-VIETNAMESE], Ear’s What's Poppin’ [AMERICAN]

Flavor Island, Gelato Gilberto, German American Club [GERMAN], India Palace Restaurant [INDIAN], Island Way Sorbet, Jamaican Association of Louisville [JAMAICAN], Kentucky Specialty Caterers [AMERICAN], La Nirra Taco [MEXICAN],Lopez Foods [GUATEMALAN], Los Aztecas [MEXICAN], Louie Villa’s Italian Ices, Mai’s Thai [THAI], Pennsylvania Dutch Funnel Cakes, Queen of Sheba [ETHIOPIAN], Repicci's Italian Ice, Safier Mediterranean Deli [MEDITERRANEAN], St. Francis of Assisi Committee on Conscience, St. John Vianney Catholic [VIETNAMESE], St. Joseph Church [GERMAN-LATINO], Taste of Jamaica Café [JAMAICAN], Thai Taste [THAI], ValuMarket [CUBAN-WORLD], Vic Ivan Café and Catering, YaChing's [ASIAN], Yangkee Noodle [ASIAN FUSION]

Cooking Up Cultures

Chef Nancy Russman presents cooking tips on international cuisine.

Friday, 4 to 9 p.m. and Saturday, 12 to 8 p.m.

A World of Support…


ValuMarket, Al Dia en America


AT&T Yellow Pages, Budweiser, Diageo, Kentucky Lottery Corporation

Ambassador (Media)

La Caliente Radio, Louisville Hotbytes, Louisville Public Media WFPK 91.9 FM, Insight Cable and MetroTV

Arts Diplomat

AT&T, Your Community Bank

Supporting Minister

Bellarmine University, Louisville,

Ami, Amico, Amigo

Hoy en las Americas, Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau, McKendree College,

Louisville Eccentric Observer (LEO), O’Brien McClain, PLLC


AEGON, CityScoot, Louisville Originals, Louisville Water Company, Publishers Printing Company