The First Annual NICE Festival with Astounding Success!
Over 5,000 attended the day-long event that was filled with an abundance of cultural experiences from around the world.
Enjoy the many images here where you will experience the glorious moments of a day well spent.
NICE comments that sums it up:
Mayor’s posts on Facebook: “The First Annual NICE FESTIVAL. People of all races and ethnicities coming together to celebrate our diversity. Norwalk is showing the world how things must be. NORWALK ROCKS!!!”
Twitter Tweet: Ashley Rodriguez @__ashleyann Jul 9
“If you didn’t go to the nice festival today you truly missed out @NORWALKNICE”
(Longtime Norwalk resident) “People had fun! And it both reflected and honored the diversity of Norwalk’s population.”
(New Norwalk resident) “I would like to sincerely thank the town of Norwalk and the organizers of the NICE multicultural festival…. From the array of food trucks, the bubbles and kid-friendly activities, the phenomenal artistry and performances, the local atmosphere of togetherness and the promotion of local businesses, I was truly inspired by this event..”
First NICE festival in Norwalk a success
Norwalk Hour By Julia Gorman
Published 8:00 pm, Saturday, July 9, 2016
NORWALK — People poured into Oyster Shell Park on Saturday for the first annual NICE festival, a multicultural celebration hosted by the Norwalk International Cultural Exchange. The festival overlooked the Norwalk Harbor near the Maritime Aquarium. Attendees bustled along the streets of SoNo making their way toward the live music and high-flying kites.
The NICE festival hosted over 20 food vendors wish dishes from India, Venezuela, Turkey, other parts of the Middle East, Italy, Asia, the Caribbean and more. The fare included empanadas, falafel, barbecue, items from the Valencia Luncheria truck, ice cream, fresh fruit, Asian style grinders, pizza, grilled cheese and more.
Katherin Cheverra, 18, an intern and assistant to the executive director of NICE, had been working on
this festival for close to six months, recruiting and organizing vendors. “We’re here to show and celebrate every culture here in Norwalk, to show that we have more in common than we do different, which is important with everything going on in the news right now,” Cheverra said.
Alongside the tempting array of food included traditional Indian and Latin American clothing, jewelry, children’s toys and artwork.
Vendor Salina Paul sold traditional Indian clothing and jewelry including colorful saris and bangles. “I wanted to be a part of this multicultural festival so I could represent my country,” Paul said. In the background, live music could be heard from a variety of cultural entertainers. Ethnic dances were performed.
Many children were drawn to the festival. There was kite flying, flag face painting, henna, mural painting, bubble and instrument exhibits, stationary kites, origami and cultural games. Many vendors also promoted education for their charitable causes such as the Naragote/Norwalk Sister City Project, Norwalk Community College and Common Ground farmers market.
Director of Common Ground farmers market, Linda Troy, has been running the market for nearly five years and started the market to bring quality produce closer to those living at or below the poverty line. Troy works alongside the Food Access Coalition, which provides quality food to those in need and through Common Ground runs a teaching kitchen for students at Fodor Farm.
Also on hand were students from the Center for Global Studies program in Norwalk. The secretary of the student government for CGS, Brendan Murtha, 16, co-ran the booth promoting Arabic, Japanese and Chinese culture with games and origami for children as well as information on the program for parents.
“This festival promotes culture and that’s what CGS stands for, to represent all religions and cultures. We’re all about promoting the global community and this is a great place to exhibit that,” Murtha said.
The NICE festival highlighted the growing community of Norwalk, the SoNo area in particular and the immense diversity, cultural acceptance and appreciation that the city has to offer. © 2016 Hearst Communications, Inc.