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WorldFest on Labor Day weekend: Four days of international food, national touring bands and culture


worldfest2013poster_original_cropLabor Day usually is a good excuse to leave town.

Not this year.

Last year, WorldFest under Office of Globalization Executive Director Suhas Kulkarni, went from being a little after-thought festival on the Belvedere to being a multi-stage, multi-vendor mega-event that drew thousands over three days.

(You have to see the full WorldFest schedule below to understand just how many bands and performers are scheduled.)

For 2013,WorldFest is adding a day, taking up the entire Labor Day weekend for its 11th year as it expands to four days of international food, music, dance and culture Fri., Aug. 30 through Monday, Sept. 2.

WorldFest features the largest collection of international and ethnic restaurants, vendors and exhibitors at a single event in Kentucky, according to news release.

For 2013, there will be more than 50 bands and performers along with 30 food vendors and about 150 booths with food, apparel and tschockes.

Two stages of music and dance entertainment will have continuous performances ranging from African drumming to reggae to Indian, Celtic, Arabic, Latin, Caribbean music and more.

The biggest change is that in addition to local and regional world music performers such as Louisville favorite Appalatin, World Fest will have national touring acts including latin group Grupo Fantasma, Eileen Ivers & Immigrant Soul, Red Baraat, which is an experience in and of itself, The Ark Band reggae group and Jazz in Pink.

You’re asking, “So, why is WorldFest gotten such a boost?” No question WoldFest is an economic-development tool under the Fischer Administration.

From a news release about the festival:

“Cities that embrace and encourage their international citizens and cultures will thrive, have a stronger quality of life and will attract new growth and jobs,” Mayor Greg Fischer said. “WorldFest is a great event for exploring and celebrating Louisville’s many faces and cultures and we are excited about expanding the event to four days.”

Kulkarni and The Mayor tweaked the festival by adding a career expo and a naturalization ceremony because just as it did after the Great Migration in the 1850s, Louisville is attracting a in-migration of talent, but this time from India, the Latin world, Africa and the Middle East instead of Europe.

The festival includes a Parade of Cultures at noon on Sat., Sept. 1 and a naturalization ceremony Fri. Aug. 30 at 2 p.m. when about 300 immigrants will become full U.S. citizens.

Admission to WorldFest is free all four days.

Hours are: Friday, Aug. 30, Saturday, Aug. 31, and Sunday, Sept. 1, 11 a.m. – 11 p.m., and Monday, Sept. 2, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

From the release, WorldFest highlights include:

Global Village where you can mingle and interact with representatives of nations ranging from Argentina to Vietnam who will be dressed in their native clothing, conversing in their native language and dancing to their culture, custom and music;

World of Discovery gives children a global experience without leaving home. Hands-on activities include the Home Depot Children’s Workshop and jewelry making by The California Neighborhood Jewelry Making Studio supported by ArtsReach;

•  The Louisville Third Century Hospitality Tent which will be open to the public throughout WorldFest and will host a reception following the Naturalization Ceremony;

Career Opportunities & Resources Expo provides resources including workshops with a special focus on the immigrant population. Friday, 1 p.m. –5 p.m. at the Kentucky Center.

For more information about WorldFest, visit


WorldFest is Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday of Labor Day weekend. Aug. 30, Aug. 31 and Sept. 1 hours are 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sept. 2 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. On the Belvedere, at Fifth and Main Streets. Admission is free with international food, spirits, beer and crafts available for purchase. Parking is available on nearby streets, and is free after 6 p.m. and all day Sunday. Several parking garages and lots are also nearby. Please bring canned food for Dare to Care.

Naturalization Ceremony

Friday, Aug. 30, 2 p.m., Kentucky Center, Bomhard Theater.

Parade of Cultures -- presented by Kilimanjaro Foods, Inc.

Saturday, Aug. 31, 12 p.m.

Parade begins near Metro Hall at 6th Street, west on Jefferson to 5th Street, then goes north on 5th to WorldFest on the Belvedere, ending at the Main Stage on the West Lawn.

Cooking Up Cultures — Sponsored by ValuMarket

Taste free samples of foods of the world

Friday, 5 & 7pm

Saturday, 1, 3, 5 & 7pm

Sunday, 1, 3 & 5pm

Chef Nancy Russman will team with area chefs.

2013 WorldFest Schedule


Friday Aug. 30

10:30 am – 11:30 am Recorded International Music

11:45 am – 1pm Desperados Steel Band (Caribbean)

1 pm – 5 pm Recorded International Music

5 pm – 5:45 pm Swing 39 (French Chanson/Cabaret)

6 pm – 6:30 pm Acoiris Latino (Mexican Dance)

6:30 pm – 7:15 pm Men of Thunda (Celtic-Tribal)

7:15 pm 8 pm Big Poppa Stampley & Voodou Gumbo (Americana)

8:15 pm – 9 pm Maestro J (Neo Soul- Smooth Jazz)

9:30 pm 11 pm The Ark Band ( Reggae)

 Saturday, Aug. 31

10 am- 12 pm Recorded International Music

12 pm- 12:45 pm PARADE OF CULTURES

1 pm – 1:30 pm Organization of Chinese Americans (Chinese Dance)

1:30 pm – 2 pm Imani Dancers (African/African American Drum and Dance)

2 pm – 2:30 pm Chinese Dance with Cheryl Pan (Chinese Dance)

2:30 pm – 3:15 pm Cloigheann (Irish Greengrass Music )

3:30 pm – 4 pm The Athenians (Greek Dance)

4 pm – 4:45 pm Native American Dance Ensemble (Native American Dance)

4:45 pm – 5:15 pm Fred “Yellow Knife Keams (Native American Music)

5:30 pm – 6 pm Smitha Paily Dance Group Natya Kendra (East India Dance)

6 pm – 6:45 pm Michael Jacobs of the Sacred Nation (Native American Music)

6:45 pm – 7:30 pm River City Drum Corp. (African –Urban Drumming)

7:45 pm – 9 pm Cosa Seria (Latin Music)

9:30 pm-11pm Jazz N’ P!nk ( Jazz)

Sunday, Sept. 1

11:30 am-12:30 pm- Recorded International Music

12:30 pm- 1 pm Misha Fegin Group (Russian Gypsy Music)

1:30 pm – 2 pm Flamenco Talk (Spanish Dance)

2:15 pm – 3 pm Derby Boys (Irish Music)

3:15 pm – 4 pm McClanahan School of Irish Dance (Irish Dance)

4:15 pm – 5:15 pm Guilderoy Byrne (Celtic Folk Music)

5:30 pm – 6:15 pm Legna & Yoisel (Cuban-Caribbean Blend)

6:30 pm – 7:30 pm Polyrhythmic with Dick Sisto -(vibes, mallets & drums)

9:30 pm – 11 pm Appalatin (Appalachian & Latin Fusion Music)

Monday, Sept. 2

12:30 pm – 1 pm Recorded International Music

1 pm – 1:30 pm Long Phang Nyugen (Vietnamese)

1:30 pm – 2 pm Bosnian American Students ((Bosnian European Music)

2:15 pm – 3 pm Flamenco Talk (Spanish Dance)

3:15 pm – 4:15 pm Swing 39

4:30 pm – 6 pm Salsa Rhythms Band (Latin Music)


Friday, Aug. 30

10:30am – 5 pm Recorded International Music

5 pm– 5:45 pm Al Hamsa Belly Dance (Mideast Dance)

6 pm – 6:45 pm Nachale Bollywood Dance (East India Dance)

7:30 pm -9 pm Rheingold Band (German)

9:30 pm -11 pm Red Baraat (North India Bhrangra, Funk & Hip Hop)

Saturday, Aug. 31

10 am -11am Recorded International Music

11 am- 11:30 am Angleterre Morris Dancers (English Folk Dance)

12 pm 12:45 pm PARADE OF CULTURES

1 pm – 1:45 pm Louisville Pipe Band ( Scottish Bag pipe & Drums

1:45 pm – 2 pm Plena Rhythms (Latin Dance)

2 pm – 2:15 pm Louisville Lion Dance Team (Vietnamese Tradition)

2:15 pm – 2:45 pm Ruric Amari (American Belly dance)

2:45 pm – 3:15 pm Louisville Argentine Tango Society (Latin Dance)

3:30 pm – 4:15 pm Pati Kele (African Drums & Stilt dance)

4:15 pm – 5 pm Dance Intermix (Belizean Dance)

5 pm – 5:45 pm Ut Gret (Pan Idiomatic music)

5:45 pm – 6:30 pm Flamenco Louisville (Spanish Dance)

6:45 pm – 7:45 pm Afrophysicists (World Music Mix) )

8 pm – 9 pm Salsa Rhythms Band (Latin Music)

9:30 pm – 11 pm Grupo Fantasma (Latin-mambo, meringue- cumbia)

Sunday, Sept. 1

12 pm- 1 pm Recorded International Music

1 pm – 1:45 pm Louisville Performing Arts School (Community)

1:45 pm – 2:30 pm Guru Vandana Academy (East India Dance)

2:45 pm – 3:30 pm The West Africa Art of Dance Company West African Dance)

3:45 pm – 4:30 pm The Mariella Project (African American Music & Dance)

4:45 pm – 5:45 pm Squeeze Bot ( Underground Funk)

6 pm – 7 pm –Frenchaxe (French Chanson- Cabaret)

7:15 pm – 8 pm Latin Fusion ( Latin music fused with popular song)

8:15 pm – 9:15 pm Azucar Tumbao (Latin Music-Salsa)

9:30 pm – 11 pm Eileen Ivers & Immigrant Soul (Celtic)

Monday, Sept. 2

12 pm-1 pm Recorded International Music

1pm – 1:45 pm Ruric Amari (American Belly Dance)

2 pm – 2:45 pm Al Hamsa Belly Dance (Mideast Dance)

3 pm – 3:45 pm Flamenco Louisville (Spanish Dance)

5 pm – 6 pm Kentucky Salsa All Stars (Latin)

About the Office for Globalization: Created by Mayor Fischer in 2011 to help make Louisville a more international city, the Office for Globalization helps plan and coordinate WorldFest. It is one of a series of events and activities that help integrate recent immigrants to Louisville and expand Louisville’s reach into global markets. Suhas Kulkarni is the director of the office which is part of the city’s Department for Economic Growth and Innovation.

WorldFest is presented by Louisville Third Century and ValuMarket.

Contributing sponsors:

CBS Outdoor and Stella Artois. Supporting sponsors: Creative Alliance, Galt House, Humana CareSource, Kentucky Lottery, Kilimanjaro Foods Inc. and Yum! Brands. Additional support: ElectroDoc Digital Services, Fogle Keller Purdy PLLC, Home Depot, Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau, Signature Healthcare and Walmart. Media partners: Al Dia, Louisville Defender, Louisville Public Media and MetroTV. Special thanks: AdHawks, LLC, Boss Hog’s Catering, Celts on the River, Chef Nancy Russman’s Kids’ Club, Ken Clay & Associates, Louisville Water, LP Productions, Ramiro’s Cantina and USA Image.


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