International Festival Highlights Diversity in Bowling Green

By Kristin Martin | 

The music, the food and the unique gifts -- it's what draws people to the International Festival. However, as they explore, they see there's a lot more to it.

"Lots of diversity. You'll find people from everywhere -- places you might not even ever heard before," said Jose Mosquera.

Event organizers say the people are really the heart of the festival.

"One of the things we really think we're able to provide to Bowling Green is a chance to experience the diversity that mostly is already here, but it's rare that we'd all be together at the same place at the same time," said Angela Jones, who is on the board for the International Festival.

She said through food and music people are able to get to know more about the diverse population of Bowling Green.

"It's fun to see people from lots of different cultural groups interacting and dancing together and sometimes just spontaneous things spring up like that," she said.

Mosquera is originally from Columbia. He said since he's lived here, he hasn't missed a festival in the past four years.

"A lot of people you see and hear that you never thought that they will be here. It's fun, because you see people from a lot of different cultures and religions and nationalities all together and they talk and mix and interact together, which is amazing," he said.

"Folks have told me that they really feel at home in Bowling Green after they come to the International Festival and realize that even thought it's a smaller city, there's a lot more diversity like they might have had in a bigger city they left," Jones said.

Like one man who just moved to Bowling Green from Azerbaijan a few weeks ago.

"Really was fascinated. I like it. I just tasted a lot of sweets, met a lot of cultures," Fuad Masibob said about the festival.

So whatever reason you go, it's easy to see how much culture Bowling Green has once you get there.

Next year will be the 25th anniversary of the festival.

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