Celebrate Nashville Cultural Festival Expresses the Essence of Diversity

For the last 22 years, the Celebrate Nashville Cultural Festival has created a space for residents and tourists alike to engage in the rich variety of cultures embodying the essence of Nashville. According to the World Population Review, Nashville has one of the fastest growing populations in the country. So much so, the current foreign-born population in Nashville has tripled over the last ten years to 12% of the city’s residents. In a city this diverse, the Celebrate Nashville Cultural Festival is not only one the city’s most vibrant events, but also an essential opportunity for cross-cultural learning and community togetherness.

Each year, this free, family-friendly festival upholds its mission to “celebrate and embrace” cultural diversity. The festival is made up of six themed areas: Global Villages, World Market, Teens! United, Nashville Metro Village, The Children’s Area, and of course – the food!

The Global Village offers an authentic look at the customs and traditions of the participating cultures, while the World Market is a gathering place for various nonprofits and service organizations that support and benefit the diversity in our community. The Oasis Center, a local, community-based youth empowerment organization, arranges Teens! United, an area that allows teens to create and perform pieces reflecting their lifestyle and heritage. The Nashville Metro Village area highlights talents & traditions alongside the Children’s Area – a highly interactive area that has something for every age!  The Children’s Area Stage has interactive music and dance programs throughout the day. Attendees can visit each area to gain an inside look at customs and traditions that are present in the City of Nashville.

Featuring five stages with an assortment of performances, the liveliness of the festival stimulates the senses with representation from countries all over the world, including Panama, India, Ethiopia, Japan, Madagascar, India, Norway, Turkey, Mexico and Bolivia just to name a few! Costumed dancers, storytelling and music, ethnic aromas converging in the air and delicious mouth-watering bites from over 50 food vendors. Try exotic items like Baklava, Basil Stir Fry, Fried Plantains, Naan, Tamales, Lemonades, Sorbets and even Nashville’s Hot Chicken!

In addition to offering this event at no cost to the public, the Festival provides an opportunity for Business Owners and Entrepreneurs, Performers and Artists, Non-profit and Service Related Organizations to gain exposure for their invaluable businesses, products, services and art to be discovered by consumers of the Greater Nashville Community. All participants are encouraged to focus on the celebration of the arts, music, food, dance, and traditional representations of culture through understanding, appreciation and respect for diversity.

The impact the day-long event’s festival atmosphere has on families is reflected by Randa Abdel-Fattah’s comment, “For me, festivals and celebrations have become an important way to teach my children about how we can transform living with diversity from the superficial ‘I eat ethnic food’, to something dignified, mutually respectful and worthwhile.”

When asked why the Celebrate Nashville Cultural Festival was so important one community member summed it up perfectly:
“Celebrate Nashville is a wonderful festival! Glorious foods, wonderful music and arts, amazing people! Such an event, celebrating our city’s cultural riches is sorely needed in our times of narrow mindedness, base polarisation and misunderstanding. I look forward to it every year, and always have a ton of fun! Kudos to all of you working to make it happen! This festival elevates us all!” ~Hughes Chevalier

Presented by the Nashville Metro Parks, the Celebrate Nashville Cultural Festival is at the world-renown Centennial Park every fall. Local organizations have collaborated with the festival to offer even more incentives to the well-over 60,000 event attendees.
Free parking and shuttles are provide by Hospital Corporations of America (HCA) and Metro Airport Authority, while organizations like Metro Nashville Water Services and Metro Action Commission distribute information regarding services that are available to Nashville and Davidson County residents.

By acknowledging the presence and essence of various cultures, the festival truly emphasizes cross-cultural understanding as a need for the success of Nashville’s thriving community. As community member, Rachel Hoffman, expressed, “Celebrate Nashville may be the most unifying event in Music City. The music, the food, the booths show the beauty that each culture brings to the world. Fame, prestige, income, etc. are not a factor. All are welcome and celebrated. Wouldn’t it be a beautiful world if every day could be like the Celebrate Nashville Cultural Festival?”

Rachel’s comment symbolizes why the Celebrate Nashville Cultural Festival is a vital event for the Nashville community. The festival provides a way for Nashville to recognize its rich cultural diversity while also bringing the community closer together. Let’s continue embracing celebrating our diversity!

To find out more about the Annual Celebrate Nashville Cultural Festival visit www.celebratenashville.org.


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