Around the world in a day

Sep 192010
Authors: Emily Johnson

Hundreds of people took a trip around the world Saturday without ever leaving Fort Collins.

Eclectic fashions and foods marked the 17th annual Worldfest, hosted by University Village. The community is home to about 1,200 people who represent more than 80 countries.

“If you look at the last census, this area is the most diverse in the city,” said Hosam Ahmad, director of University Village. “We like to celebrate that.”

Residents set up cultural booths to display items and information from their countries, including pictures, books, clothing and teas.

To share the many fabrics of the world, residents sported Japanese kimonos, Indian saris and Ethiopian dresses down the runway at the event’s fashion show.

Another cultural distinction the festival brought to light is the different tastes of the globe. The smell of spices, sweet and sour sauces, and sweets wafted out of the village community center where the potluck was held.

Authentic international cuisine prepared by residents was served to the community free of charge thanks to a diversity grant and a Pepsi grant, Ahmad said. Residents who cooked the food received free ingredients as well.

Chinese, Mexican, Indian, Middle Eastern and even American food overflowed from plates as residents sat in the grass together eating and fellowshipping.

“Residents get really excited to cook and share their favorite food,” said Carrie Guy, children’s events coordinator. “It’s such a great way to learn about our neighbors and gain some understanding about other cultures.”

“We all work together. We get very involved,” she said. “It connects us.”

Staff writer Emily Johnson can be reached at

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