TROY — Celebrating its 25th year in the Troy community, “Festival of Nations” offered up a plethora of international cuisine, music, apparel, and activities to Miami County residents on Saturday.
Taking place on the Great Miami River levee, the festival was themed “Troy: Nations United,” a theme which deviated from the tendency of previous festivals to highlight a single nation.
“Everybody has responded very positively and has been really receptive to the idea,” said event coordinator Michael Ham “We were a bit trepidatious to do it, because it’s always hard to break away from tradition, but everybody’s been very supportive.”
“I am so pleased with how the event’s come together. No matter what hitches we have, it always comes together on the day. Everybody works together, and it almost becomes a community within a community.”
Various vendors represented nations from around the world, including Argentina, Egypt, France, Germany, Honduras, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Panama, Peru, Phillippines, Puerto Rico, Scotland, South Africa, Ukraine, and more.
Entertainment on the grand stand was headlined by Celtic band Lone Raven, as well as Madame Gigi’s Can-Can Dancers, McGovern Ceili Dancers, and Five Point Cloggers.
The event peaked with the annual “Parade of Nations,” which featured participants of all ages clad in the garb and artifacts of each represented country.
“I think people come to the festival to experience the world,” said South Africa vendor coordinator Abigail Ngoza-Jordan. “It’s like visiting many different countries in one space. For the kids, it’s really amazing, because they get to explore different things that they’ve never really explored. From this, some of them want to travel to some of the countries they seen being presented here.”
“I’d like to continue to enhance the festival, and sustain it, and watch it grow,” Ham said. “We’re 25 years old this year, and we’ve made great strides in the awareness of the festival and its prominence in the community. I’d like to see our committee grow, as we’re always looking for new volunteers seeking to help us organize the event.”