A little taste of many cultures in McKeesport

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For more than half a century, McKeesport has embraced cultures from all over the world at its International Village. This year the food, crafts and fellowship from more than 20 nations will be on display Aug. 12-14 at the city’s Renziehausen Park. 

“People coming for the first time probably won’t know what to expect, but I can assure you they will want to return,” said city administrator Matt Gergely, a lifelong resident who has attended the International Village too many times to count.

“As far back as I can remember, I have always enjoyed seeing all the people, the wonderful smells of all the food and all the different sights of the nationalities and their cultures,” Mr. Gergely said.

International Village started in 1960. Each year, the event draws more than 30,000 people during its three days.

One of the centerpieces is the food of the participating countries. The countries represented this year include Austria, Greece, Sweden, France, Mexico, Poland, Hungary and more.

“I truly believe this is an incredibly unique experience and they can expect to taste incredible food from many ethnicities,” Mr. Gergely said. He recommends sampling the many varieties for the ultimate experience.

The majority of the vendors at International Village are local but others come from all over the country. Many families schedule vacations around the time of the International Village, Mr. Gergely said.

In addition to the food, Mr. Gergely said, the entertainment “is second to none, provided by the multiple ethnic churches and groups that participate.”

The event also includes a craft area, kids’ activity and play area, and informational booths and heritage information.

Mr. Gergely said those attending can expect to “be witness to the fellowship of our residents and the large number of people who come from all over that make sure they don’t miss this fantastic event.”

He said the event continues to be a success year after year because it “truly represents the people of our community and ‘Working Together for a Better McKeesport,’” which is the city’s slogan.

International Village will be held from 3 to 10 p.m. Aug. 12, 13 and 14 at Renziehausen Park’s Stephen Barry Field in McKeesport, near the intersection of Eden Park Boulevard and University Drive. Admission is $2 per person. A fireworks display will be held Aug. 14.

Free parking is available in public lots near the field. Parking is also available at churches and schools near the park.

Details: www.mckeesportinternationalvillage.com/

Deana Carpenter, freelance writer: suburbanliving@post-gazette.com.

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