Driving onto Main and 3rd St., the aroma of the ethnic cuisines coming from the Belvedere and World Fest tantalized the taste buds. I love the gyros, which I get from a certain vendor every year and couldn’t wait to see him to enjoy that delicious treat, which proved to be worth the wait.
Upon entering World Fest I noticed several performers on the steps of the Belvedere, playing their instruments. The gift of their music filled the air and their ability how to make their guitar, banjo and violins “sing” were “wonderful” as one young adult put it. “Sarah” who played the guitar, was playing a Mexican piece and a couple who was walking down the aisle began to dance the salsa. Sarah stopped for a moment and giggled, and the couple asked her to continue playing, she did and we watched them dance for a while. They were an older couple and both she and the couple, were enjoying themselves, although for Sarah it is a job, a way to put herself through college. The couple placed some money in her guitar case and walked hand in hand down the aisle, leaving for the evening.
Down a little further "Roland" was entertaining a group with his banjo. I’d had the privilege of speaking with Roland, one of the other musicians, at a previous engagement and he’d told me at that time he played a little. A little is an understatement for his music on the banjo is a beautiful work of art.
Parked in front of the Belvedere was The Hard Rock Cafe Bus. Marsha, who works for Hard Rock, encouraged me to go in and take the tour and it was definitely worth taking. I found myself back in time surrounded by priceless treasures any rock enthusiast would love to have. From Aerosmith’s Steve Green 1984 Back in the Saddle Tour Black-Green Suit and Microphone Cover, to Kiss’ Ace Frehley’s 1975 Alice Tour and the suit that has the burn mark on the right thigh from his smoking guitar routine, The Hard Rock Café Tour Bus was everything it promised to be. For teens, Hard Rock offered Katy Perry’s 2008 Los Premios Awards dress and in keeping with the spirit of World Fest, they displayed an outfit of Jay Chow, the Taiwanese Superstar recently portrayed with Kato in the Green Hornet. My favorite however, was Janis Joplins sequin cape from her 1971 Pearl Tour.
The highlight of the World Fest is the Naturalization Ceremony. On Friday, 300 citizens took their naturalization oaths and were accepted as citizens of the United States of America. There was a reception at the Archibald Cochran room in the Galt House after the ceremony. It was hosted by the US Office of Immigration.
Amanda Lambert of the US Naturalization introduced me to Marco Capuano, a new citizen and vendor of blow glass jewelry at World Fest. Mr. Capuano and his wife are warm and lovely people and their jewelry is gorgeous, each piece delicate and very different from the other. I was pleased to welcome him as a fellow citizen.
This year’s World Fest, whether you came for the food, arts, entertainment or if you were one of those new 300 citizens proved to live up to Louisville’s tradition of festival finery…rain or shine.