The Festival of Nations, a celebration of diversity, marks its 20th year this weekend with a salute to Argentina.
The festival, now held on the Great Miami River Levee north of downtown, is scheduled for Saturday.
It features food, information booths on a variety of nations, entertainment and other events.
“The chance to taste food from many different countries and multiple continents doesn’t come around very often, and to be able to come to one spot and enjoy so many different cultures is a real treat,” said Brock Heath, who, along with wife Leyla Heath, are chairing this year’s festival.
This is the couple’s third year of involvement in the festival. They have participated as delegates of Peru, Leyla Heath’s home country, preparing Peruvian food and selling cultural items.
“This year we are very excited about the host country being Argentina. This has special significance to us, because my wife’s father is from Argentina and the culture is so interesting,” Brock Heath said. “They have great food and are famous for their gauchos (cowboys) and, of course, their tango dancing. We will have live performances this year by professional tango dancers, which will be very exciting.”
Among other countries scheduled to be represented this year are China, Colombia, France, Germany, Honduras, India, Japan, Panama, Ukraine, Scotland, Philippines and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The festival was founded in 1994 by the Mayor’s International Council, established two years earlier by then-Mayor Pete Jenkins. The festival, held downtown until the past couple of years, is scheduled the same weekend as the Mayor’s Concert, with the mayor’s council held on Sunday.
This year’s concert will be held Sunday at 7 p.m. on the Public Square. The concert features the Dayton Philharmonic Concert Band and Summer Chorus and will celebrate Troy’s Bicentennial year.
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