Festival good for community

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 17, 2002

Today the Welcome Center is hosting Ethnic Festival 2002 for the second year in a row.

The event was well-received last year, attracting about 2,000 people to the Welcome Center. This year organizers expect closer to 3,000 to turn out for the event in Todd Park.

We hope you're one of them.

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The event is for everyone -- not just for people who recently immigrated here. In fact the Ethnic Festival may be one of the best ways for those who have lived in Austin for most of their lives to get to know about people who have recently moved here.

Many local people will be making food native to their country of origin. Food native to Cuba, Mexico, Vietnam and the United States will be sold.

Austin residents will also be able to watch two of the best adult soccer teams in the area. The Welcome Center has brought musical acts from around Minnesota to entertain the crowd. Wild Goose Chase will perform a variety of clog dances. A mariachi band and a folkloric Mexican performance also will provide entertainment.

Stepping out of your comfort zone

sometimes is tough, but can create some of the most worthwhile experiences. A new dish you try may become one of your favorite foods. New dance steps you learn may impress others at another gathering. The stories the African story teller shares may make great bedtime stories.

Enjoying food and music together may make it easier for members of this diverse community to understand one another better.

This event may be one of the few times where meeting new people is made easy.