Local colors festival brings thousands to downtown Roanoke

ROANOKE, Va. – Downtown Roanoke brought countries from all over the globe to Elmwood Park for the 33rd annual Local Colors Festival.

Thousands of people packed Elmwood Park to get a taste of about 60 different countries and cultures right in the heart of downtown Roanoke.

“It helps us to understand each other better. You get to learn about different cultures in a fun and entertaining way. Oh, and in a delicious way because you get to eat food from many different countries,” Lisa Spencer, executive director of Local Colors, said.

This year’s featured country was South Korea in honor of Wonju celebrating 60 years as a sister city with Roanoke.

“Wonju South Korea was actually the first sister city established here in 1964, so they are celebrating 60 years of that partnership and so a special treat this year is we have had the Wonju delegation to be part of the festival,” Spencer said.

Throughout the day, performers took the stage representing cultures from around the globe, like the group, CommUNITY Arts Reach.

“It allows the community to come together and celebrate the diversity of all the cultures that are represented and even some that are not represented, this still shows the value of honoring the diversity,” Bernadette Larke, CommUNITY Arts Reach said.

People also got the chance to try new foods

“So this is a way for everybody to find out that there are places that you can get other than American foods right here in town,” Patricia white, Kona Koffeehouse booth said.

For Nyree Wright, she plans to come back next year.

“It’s just really fun, I mean some of the food you can’t get around here, so I want to try it,” Wright said.

Organizers say this year’s turnout was more than they could have hoped for and are looking forward to bringing it back next year.

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