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Inaugural international food festival comes to South Philly

The event will be put on jointly by Modero & Company, the St. Thomas Aquinas Parish and the Aquinas Center.

On Saturday, Oct. 20, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., residents from South Philly and beyond are invited to attend the South Philly International Food Festival at St. Thomas Aquinas School, located at 1719 Morris St. The event will feature dishes from all different cultural backgrounds, including Vietnamese, Indonesian, Mexican and Italian foods. The event will be put on jointly by Modero & Company, the St. Thomas Aquinas Parish and the Aquinas Center.

“Probably every continent will be represented,” said Sinta Storms, founder of Modero & Company, an organization whose mission is to preserve the traditional Indonesian culture, perform Indonesian dances and celebrate different aspects of the culture. In addition to exposing Indonesian culture with food, the organization, which has been around for seven years, has put on dances from Disney World to Panama.

The event came together only recently when Storms reached out to Bethany Welch, executive director at the Aquinas Center about a month ago.

“We believe food is a great convener,” Welch said.

Welch noted the event is perfect for somebody who wants to try new foods but doesn’t want the commitment of going to a Haitian or Laotian restaurant and sitting down for a meal, not knowing what to order. If they come to the South Philly International Food Festival, they can buy foods they’d like to try in a more casual manner.

“None of this is fancy restaurant food,” Welch said. “It’s the neighborhood flavors of our community.”

Welch said there’s already a wide range of people confirmed for the event, featuring flavors from all over the world. However, there’s still a few slots left for people who’d like to be food vendors.

Storms called the event a “celebration of diversity, supporting local businesses and community organizations.”

In addition to music, the event will feature a DJ and various vendor booths for non-food things. For instance, the Fairmount Park Conservancy will be there to provide information about the current redesign of FDR Park. Additionally, the South Philly Food Co-op will be there to disseminate information about its plans to open South Philly’s only community-owned grocery store. There will even be an immigration legal services table at the event, to help immigrants learn more about their rights.

If you have interest in becoming a food vendor for the event, reach out to events@aquinascenterphilly.org. For non-vendor attendees, admission into the event is free, but the food costs extra.

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