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PHOTOS: Food, music from 35 countries at Penticton’s OneWorld Festival

The 11th annual edition of the festival welcomed more than 2,000 people on Feb. 24

After 11 years, Cherry Fernandez says the OneWorld Festival has always managed to bring people together.

More than 35 countries were represented Saturday, Feb. 24, when the 11th annual edition of the multicultural event came to Penticton’s Lakeside Resort.

Organized by South Okanagan Immigrant and Community Services (SOICS), the festival featured food, live entertainment, and traditions all day long.

“My favourite part of the event is seeing everyone connecting with each other,” said Fernandez, the executive director at SOICS. “It’s all about bringing people together.”

Fernandez estimates more than 2,000 people attended Saturday’s event, which ran from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

There was food from Mexico, Japan and Thailand, and entertainment from Scotland and Columbia, among others. The event, Fernandez says, never misses the mark when it comes to celebrating diversity.

“This is such a beautiful place that brings us all together, and of course, don’t forget the food,” the executive director added. “Food is such a wonderful way to be together, bond and create those conversations.”

Yuko Yoshii has attended the OneWorld Festival for several years. With Japanese cuisine ready to be served, the Penticton resident said she never gets tired of seeing people try new foods for the first time.

“Meeting a lot of new people,” Yoshii, who represented Penticton’s Japanese Kitchen Kura, said, when asked what her favourite part of the event was. “We also love trying food from other countries, too. That’s the fun part.”

Other festival highlights included the showing of SOICS students’ films, live music, dancing and a photo booth.

Fernandez says the festival has grown significantly since its inception more than a decade ago, with SOICS now serving clients from 110 countries and territories.

“We’re still growing and it’s wonderful to see so many people who want to be part of this,” she said. “It’s definitely something to be celebrated.”

READ MORE: Here’s what’s happening this weekend in Penticton

About the Author: Logan Lockhart

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