It’s the most multicultural time of the year in Dayton -- the 44th annual World A’Fair is coming to the Dayton Convention Center (and our faces) this weekend.
While the indoor festival prides itself on celebrating the common human thread that runs through all of the world’s countries and ethnicities, we all know the best way to explore new-to-us cultures is through our stomachs.
With 26 of 32 different countries bringing their best edibles to the table, here are our picks of the things you will want to save room for all weekend long.
There is no better place to school yourself on international brewings than at World A’Fair. Nearly every single booth offers the best alcohol their home country has to offer -- plus, the event offers quite the deal to help you try them all out
The Beer Passport is Friday night only and is limited to 500 participants. For $10, you get a passport that entitles you to a 2 oz. sample at 12 different booths: Czechoslovakia (who won the best beer prize in 2016), Scotland (who has won it every other year), Netherlands, Ireland, South Slavs, Lebanon, Mexico, Germany, India, Japan, Philippines and new for 2017 – Greece.
At the end of the evening there’s a drawing for a prize basket, so be sure to vote for your favorite beer!
Passports and voting cards can be purchased at the wristband booths – cash only.
There are SO MANY different kinds of food to try -- and with it all under one roof, this is the perfect opportunity to try some new flavors you’ve been curious about without having to commit to a full meal that may not quite tickle your fancy.
If you’re looking for a place to start, this thread on the World A’Fair Facebook page is full of people’s favorite foods from all over -- there’s no one clear winner (which means we all win, honestly).
Our out-of-your-comfort-zone picks? Korea’s Bokgumbap Combination (Bulgogi+Kimchi+Bokgumbap), Lebanon’s Falafel Sandwich, and Greece’s Spinach Pies.
The picture above shows *the* most popular dessert of World A’Fair year after year -- appleflappen -- being prepared in the Netherlands booth. Note it is being done by hand, with fresh apples, freshly cooked, freshly sugared. Almost needless to say, the line is rather long at times.
If apples aren’t your thing, there is no shortage of pastries (we hear the best ones are at the South Slavs booth) and baked goods -- from homemade tiramisu in Italy to shortbread in Scotland, there’s something to satisfy every sweet tooth.
And a heads up -- if you want to catch all of the amazing entertainment, Saturday is the day to wear your stretchy pants so you can sample a bit of everything while feasting your eyes on stellar performances.
Want to go?
WHEN: May 19-21. Friday 5 p.m.-11 p.m.; Saturday 11 a.m. - 11 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.
WHERE: Dayton Convention Center, 22 E. Fifth St., Dayton
COST: Advance sale: $5 adults, $5 seniors, $3 youth (age 5 and under). Door sale: $8 adults, $5 seniors, $4 youth. Active-duty military members even get in for free, and on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., handicapped individuals and their aides also get in for free. Advance tickets are available at all area Kroger stores, Miami Valley AAA offices, Siebenthaler’s Garden Center locations and La Llama Place locations. Purchase tickets online here. Multi-day passes available this year, which must be purchased in advance through a DIFI Delegate, at La Llama Place or via President Wayne Gulden (firstname.lastname@example.org or 937-767-1910).