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City Events Newsroom

WorldFest Expands to Four Days on Labor Day Weekend

Thursday August 8, 2013

11 th annual event will run Aug. 30 - Sept. 2

WorldFest, one of the region’s largest international festivals, will span the entire Labor Day weekend for its 11th year as it grows to four days of international food, music, dance and culture on Louisville’s Belvedere downtown.

Exciting international music will come from more than 50 bands and performers while more than 30 food vendors and nearly 150 booths provide a global sampling of cuisine and culture.

In addition to local and regional world music performers, national touring acts will include Grupo Fantasma, Eileen Ivers & Immigrant Soul, Red Baraat, The Ark Band and Jazz in Pink.

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.

“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.”

In addition to music, food and dancing, other 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.

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

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

The festival includes a colorful Parade of Cultures at noon on Saturday and a naturalization ceremony Friday at 2 p.m. where nearly 300 immigrants will become full U.S. citizens.

People are encouraged to bring canned goods to benefit Dare to Care Food Bank. Collection bins will be at the main entrance and in the World of Discovery children’s area.

WorldFest was honored in 2010 when Louisville was named the top city in North America for festivals and events by the International Festival and Events Association. In 2011, it was named a Top Ten Fall Festival by the Kentucky Travel Industry Association.

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.

For more information about WorldFest, visit

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 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)