Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Around the World In One Hot Weekend

Last year, by the time Labor Day weekend rolled around, we had managed to dig out from the moving boxes but we were still debating daily about where to put extra furniture and the most efficient use of kitchen drawer space. Finally, we all needed a break. It was a long weekend and the last task we wanted to cross off was unpack the house...some more.

So, like any Fort Knoxer worth their weight, we drove to Louisville. As it turned out, the WorldFest had come to the waterfront and it was free. Well, not the gyros. They weren't free. Or the fruity umbrella drinks served in a hollowed-out pineapple to give the illusion of alcohol inside...
they weren't free, either. Or nearly enough liquid to quench the 3 of us on what turned out to be a 95 degree day with 95% humidity. But what pineapple froth can't quell, bottled water will. Yay for Aquafina.

But the WorldFest itself, with its multiple tents featuring music, dancers, art and kids' activities, was all free. It kicked off on Friday but Saturday featured a parade, which we pretty much missed in its entirety because the LMPD officer standing next to us was convinced that we were camped on the corner of the end of the parade...instead of, as it turned out, the very beginning of the route. (In retrospect, it seems odd that we didn't figure this out on our own and much sooner. I blame the heat.) Instead of watching performers from various countries sing, dance and throw candy, we saw the straightening of costumes
the private discussions between the costumed and the non-participating friend
and little ones being little ones.
But we were fortunate enough to catch these guys in action...

 these poor boys...they were in long-sleeve shirts AND cable knit sweaters when it started. I have no idea how they were still in button-downs and chinos and caps when it was all said and done. I wanted to strip down to my underwear and I wasn't even in a parade. I did see Mama keep handing them the bottled water, though.
 This guy was from Trinidad or Tobago or maybe both. All I know is that someday, when I have zero responsibilities the next day, I want to party with him!
 She carried that child the entire route. I bet there wasn't a dry stitch on her by 4:00.

I mean, seriously, how do you not want to buy him a shot of rum and drink it in the streets? 

The festival schedule ran all weekend and included vendors for at least a dozen different cuisines, cultural dancing demonstrations on 3 stages, a global village that exhibited the cultures and customs of over 20 different countries, craft booths offering handmade items from around the world, a naturalization ceremony and a kids' activity area. Last year, we missed the naturalization ceremony, but got a good taste of the rest of it with the aforementioned gyros and pineapple umbrella drink, as well as teaching Blue about how his ancestors lived...
(although less of on the banks of the Ohio River and more in the allotted reservation in Tennessee)

doing a little shopping at the craft booths...
(if that sign had read Keep Calm and Sweat Your Ass Off, I totally would have bought it - just as a little reminder of the day)

and listening to some African drum music.

I thought I was being all Sally Subtle when I took these pictures. Apparently, I was so very, very busted. And I didn't give to their charity. I'm going to make up for that this year.

Speaking of which, if you are in the Louisville, KY area on Labor Day weekend (it's 29 Aug - 1 Sept this year) this is such a fabulous festival for the entire family. Bring bottled water. Bring cash because, let's face it, you are going to want some baklava. Bring your camera because even though I didn't donate to their cause, they were still pleased as punch to have an enthusiastic audience who might someday blog about them. And bring your sense of adventure. And maybe ask more than one person where the parade route is.

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