Americana Center World Festival celebrates cultures with music, food and wares

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by Maggie Huber

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Iroquois Amphitheater played host Saturday to the 23rd annual Americana Center World Festival, Where Louisville Meets the World. Hundreds sampled the festival’s music, food and wares.

With musical acts playing and dancers performing on two stages every half hour, there was plenty to stimulate the ears and eyes. For example, Mamta Subba, 18, performed a traditional Nepalese dance with her friends.

“It’s a rare opportunity to see different kinds of musicians in town,” said Alexander Udis, 28, the community garden coordinator at the Americana Center. “The festival started as a block party for the center and has grown to be the big event of the year when we not only get to advertise what we do at the center, but give a spotlight to all the nationalities that live in Louisville.”

For others, such as Lauren Humpert, “the highlight of this festival is the food,” she said as she waited for someone to cover her Fiberworks booth so she could indulge in food from one of the more than six food vendors.

Odette Nyirahuku agreed as she made beignets for her “Mama Boling” booth. Nyirahuku learned to cook the dishes at the Americana Center as part of a class. “Everybody needs our food,” she said.

Americana Community Center provides a spectrum of services based on the Louisville area’s cultural, ethnic and economic diversity.

Americana World Festival: Americana World Festival | Scenes and interviews (Video by ANGELA SHOEMAKER/Special to the Courier-Journal

Olivetta Uradu, 20, left, and Kade Tambo, 22, right, watch as a band performs on the Hilltop stage at the 23rd annual Americana World Festival at the Iroquois Amphitheater. June 01, 2013

Joyce Augustine, 10, participates in a hula hoop contest for kids during the 23rd annual Americana World Festival at the Iroquois Amphitheater. June 01, 2013

Joyce Augustine, 10, participates in a hula hoop contest for kids during the 23rd annual Americana World Festival at the Iroquois Amphitheater. June 01, 2013