By Julie DeLong, @UCCCF
“Look at all these choices - - I can eat my way around the world!" said a happy patron at The Wasatch International Food Festival, held by West Valley City on August 19 & 20 in partnership with the community and sponsors. It was created as a signature event at the Utah Cultural Celebration Center to bring people together in celebration of the vibrant diverse local cultures with world cuisines, music, arts, and community activities. Celebrity chef Viet Pham was on hand to explain and make delicious fried chicken on the Sysco Demonstration Stage and shared it with the audience afterwards.
Community partners were nonprofits, local businesses, schools, and artists that brought their time, talents, and expertise to the festival to educate, volunteer, and share. The community art mural came alive with dedicated time and talents from art professor extraordinaire Dr. Kim Martinez, University of Utah Art & History Department. Other community organizations like Wasatch Community Gardens, Tracy Aviary, Bad Dog Rediscovers America, Marriott Library Book Arts, and more brought engaging activities. We enjoyed the anecdotes from the families and friends who shared stories of their experience eating, painting, bouncing, listening, learning, and dancing here on a sunny Saturday.
A festival in numbers: 21 food and market vendors, 20 sponsors (cash and in-kind), 3,000 attendees, 107 fantastic volunteers, $26,500 infrastructure expenses, 10 bands & performances, $11,114 in ticket revenue, 9 community partners and artists, 15 food demonstrations and tastings. Special Thanks to our wonderful sponsors: A very special thank you to iHeartMedia, Inc. and their great radio stations for all they did to promote the festival, to Mayor Ron Bigelow and Zions Bank for their support, to your Salt Lake County Zoo, Arts, and Parks funds, to The National Endowment of the Arts, the Utah Division of Arts and Museums, the George S. and Dolores Dore’ Eccles Foundation, and last but not least to Sysco Intermountain for their important partnership and support to the vendors. Festival partners like Harmons, Carlson Distributing, Selecthealth, Walmart, First Utah Bank, the Utah Restaurant Association, Gygi Inc, Mountain West Hard Cider, Sugarhouse Vodka, and Bank of Utah came through with funds, promotions, and product that enriched the festival experience. This festival was truly a team effort and we appreciate everyone’s dedicated support to making it a success.
Check out more photos from the event here.