ST. LOUIS — Tower Grove Park was packed with more than 80 tents on Saturday featuring crafts and cravings from around the world to celebrate the return of the Festival of Nations hosted by the International Institute.
“Giving them an opportunity like this one, in which they can not only make a sale but they can help the community discover the kind of food that is from their country, which helps grow the business. It also helps with inclusion in communities and understanding who our neighbors are,” Arrey Obenson with the International Institute said.
Myriame Chery brought a little flavor from Haiti. She's been part of the festival for more than 15 years.
“I'm from Haiti. I was raised and born in Haiti. So we have some Creole chicken, Creole turkey and we have a legume dish, it's all vegetables, red beans and rice,” Chery said.
Chery said she enjoys sharing her culture with thousands of people and hopes to open her own restaurant to continue doing that every day.
“People don't know. Many of them, they've never been to Haiti, Guatemala, Panama, Cuba so a lot of people are learning. Learning a different food, different way, different taste,” Chery said.
Festival goers said it's great to be back to pass down traditions to younger generations
“My parents actually came from Croatia and I’m first generation here so we just wanted to keep it going with our son at six years old. Heritage is very important to us and our culture, especially our traditions and food,” festival goer Helena McGettigan said.
The Festival of Nations continues Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm at Tower Grove Park.