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Metro Newsroom

WorldFest Returns to Celebrate Louisville's Diversity

Thursday August 17, 2006

Globe-trotting international food and music festival set for Labor Day Weekend; new Thursday night kickoff event added

With more than 80 languages spoken in Louisville’s schools and 50 percent of the city’s population growth over the past 15 years coming from international residents, Louisville is more culturally diverse than ever before.

Mayor Jerry Abramson today announced that all of the community’s cultures will be celebrated this Labor Day weekend, at the fourth annual WorldFest on the Belvedere. The free festival, presented by ValuMarket, will feature music and entertainment that span the globe on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 1 and 2, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.. New this year, WorldFest will be kicked off Thursday evening, Aug. 31, with a special “WorldFeast” fundraising event, sponsored by National City.

“Louisville is a community that embraces the roots and diverse cultures of our residents,” Abramson said. “WorldFest is an opportunity for people of all ethnic backgrounds to come together to celebrate their heritage, as well as experience and enjoy other traditions and cultures. Last year our attendance doubled, so this year we are adding more unique features.”

WorldFest features Louisville’s largest collection of ethnic restaurants at one event, with food vendors, offering cuisines from several different nationalities for sale.

Two stages of international music and dance entertainment will have continuous performances, ranging from African drumming, Indian, Arabic, Middle Eastern, Bolivian, Celtic, Caribbean music and more. New this year is the “Budweiser Cabaret Café” near Main Street with full restaurant service by Jarfi’s Bistro with a sidewalk café setting featuring continuous international music such as French Cabaret and traditional Bolivian music. Worldfest also will feature “Cooking Up Cultures” international cooking demonstrations.

This year WorldFest will offer expanded children’s and youth activities with the “WFPK World of Children” area where children can make crafts, hear international folk tales, learn a language or play games with Radio Disney personalities. There also will be international sports demonstrations such as cricket, Australian rules football, Kung Fu and Scottish highland games.

Also new are interactive pavilions by the countries of Barbados and Japan. Barbados will be giving away a free round trip to Barbados with overnight stay as a door prize to WorldFest attendees (must be present to win).

More than 50 craft and informational booths will offer residents a unique introduction to the dozens of international cultures represented in Louisville. Following lunch on Friday, is a naturalization ceremony at 2 p.m., when nearly 200 people from 56 countries will become U.S. citizens on the Belvedere.

Saturday’s festivities will be highlighted by a “parade of cultures” beginning at noon and progressing on Fifth St. from Market St. to the Belvedere.

The Louisville Metro Office for International Affairs also will be providing in-school lessons August 28-September 1 to teach public and parochial school students about different countries, and has arranged for 1,000 students to attend WorldFest on field trips.

Last year’s WorldFest on Friday and Saturday of Labor Day weekend attracted more than 50,000 people.

New WorldFeast fundraiser to feature Louisville Originals

The new WorldFeast fundraiser will open the international festivities on Thursday, August 31 at the Kentucky Center from 6 to 9 p.m. It is a ticketed event featuring international food, wine and spirits tastings provided by 24 local “Louisville Originals” restaurants and seven beverage participants. Tickets for the WorldFeast event are $50, with proceeds benefitting the Kentucky Center’s international programs, the Louisville Originals and the Office for International Affairs.

Participants in WorldFeast include: Asiatique, Avalon, Baxter Station Bar and Grill, Brown-Forman, Café Lou Lou, Cumberland Brews, Derby Café at Kentucky Derby Museum, De La Torres, Ferd Grisanti’s, The Irish Rover, Jarfi’s Bistro, Palermo Viejo, Volare, Vincenzo’s, Uptown Café, Saffron’s Persian Cuisine, L&N Wine Bar and Bistro, Yaching’s East-West Cuisine and more.

For information on Worldfest and WorldFeast, visit or call MetroCall 311 or 574-5000. Tickets to the WorldFeast fundraiser are available at the Kentucky Center box office, 501 W. Main St., by calling 584-7777, or online at


WorldFeast at WorldFest

Features these “Louisville Original” Restaurants…

Asiatique, Avalon, Baxter Station Bar and Grill, Brown-Forman, Cafe Lou Lou, Cumberland Brews, Derby Cafe at Kentucky Derby Museum, De La Torre's, Ferd Grisanti's, The Irish Rover, Jarfi’s Bistro, Palermo Viejo, Volare, Vincenzo's, Uptown Café, Saffron’s Persian Cuisine, L&N Wine Bar and Bistro, Yaching's East-West Cuisine and more.

WorldFeast is supported by…

Presenting Sponsor 

National City Bank


If You Go:

WorldFeast at WorldFest is the kick off event held on Thursday, August 31, 6 – 9 p.m., The Kentucky Center, 501 West Main Street, in the Main and North Lobbies. Tickets are $50 per person, includes the international tasting experience, 2 wine/beer tickets and complimentary non-alcoholic beverages. A cash bar is also provided. Purchase tickets at the Kentucky Center Box Office, or call 502-584-7777 (1-800-775-7777) or order online at (telephone and internet orders subject to service fees).

WorldFest on the Belvedere

A World of Performances…

Friday, September 1, 2006

Budweiser Cabaret Café (near Main Street)

11:30 a.m. Swing 39 (French cabaret / chanson music)

12:15 p.m. Ruric - Amari & Troupe Samovar (Belly dance)

1 p.m. Winay (Traditional Bolivian music)

Michael O’Bryan (Roving musician between acts until 1 p.m.)

4 p.m. Desperados Steel & Drum Band (Caribbean / Calypso)

5 p.m. Riveria (French cabaret / chanson music)

ValuMarket Main Stage (on the Belvedere)

11:45 a.m. Guilderoy Byrne (Irish music)

1 p.m. The Kaelin’s German Band (German music)

2 -4 p.m. Naturalization Ceremony (Over 300 persons will become U.S. Citizens)

6 p.m. River City Drum Corp (African-American percussion)

7:15 p.m. Quitumbe Andean Ballet (Dance)

8:15 p.m. Hussam Al Aydi & Baladna (Arabic music and dance)

9:30 p.m. Salsa Chicago Mambo Allstars Band (Salsa) brought to you by La Caliente Radio

Saturday, September 2, 2006

Budweiser Cabaret Café (near Main Street)

10:30 a.m. India Community Foundation (Dance)

11:15 a.m. Arcoiris Latino (Mexican dance group)

ValuMarket Main Stage (on the Belvedere)

12 Noon A Parade of Cultures: a celebration of Louisville's cultural richness

1 p.m. Japanese Ensemble Myiabi (Japanese music)

1:45 p.m. Organization of Chinese Americans (Dance)

2:45 p.m. Isis & Gypsies of the Nile (Middle Eastern dance ensemble)

4 p.m. Daniel Otu & Odela (African Drum & Dance)

5:15 p.m. Quitumbe Andean Ballet (Dance)

6:15 p.m. FlamenCorro (Flamenco dance)

7:15 p.m. Men of Thunda (Celtic/Scottish)

8:15 p.m. Poko Loko (Latin Hip Hop Reggaeton from Miami), brought to you by La Caliente Radio

9:30 p.m. Baoku Moses & the Image Afro-beat Band (Nigerian)

A World of Cuisine by Local Restaurants…

Including Asiatique, Bosna-Mak, Caribbean Garden, De la Torre's, German American Club of Louisville, Gernstein Catering and Concession, Greek Orthodox Church of the Assumption, Gyros Express, Havana Rhumba, Jamaican Assoc. of Louisville, Jarfi’s Bistro, Latin American Club of Louisville, Lopez Foods, Mai's Thai Restaurant, Palermo Viejo, Safier Mediterranean Deli, Sol Azteca's, YaChing's East and more.

A World of Support…

Presenting Sponsor



Budweiser · WFPK


Al Dia en America · Barbados · Insight Communications · Japan · La Caliente Radio


Bellarmine University · BellSouth · Greater Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau ·

Kentucky Arts Council ··McKendree College · National City Bank · Park Community Federal Credit Union · Passport Health Plan · WLKY-TV NewsChannel 32


AAA Kentucky · American Life & Accident Insurance Co. of KY/Hardscuffle, Inc.· Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield · Blue Star International Realty/Countryside Mortgage · Fifth Third Bank · Galt House Hotel & Suites · Greater Louisville, Inc. · Hoy en las Américas · Jewish Hospital and St. Mary's HealthCare · Kentucky Lottery · Law Office of Dennis Clare · LEO · Louisville Metro TV · Louisville Water Company · TARC · Toyota Motor Manufacturing, KY, Inc. · University of Louisville Office of the Vice Provost for Diversity · US Bank


ACTUALIDAD · Bee Line Courier Service · Hola Kentucky · Publishers Printing Company

If You Go:

WorldFest will be held on Friday and Saturday of Labor Day weekend, September 1 and 2, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on the Belvedere, located at Fifth and Main Streets. Entrance is free with international food and alcohol and crafts available for purchase. WorldFest features continuous live music. Parking is available on nearby streets.