Annual Sister Cities International Festival Underway

By: Blanca Flores

 Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Local NewsAnel Montes, director of International Programs at Chicago Sister Cities International, invites you to go to the 8th Annual Chicago Sister Cities International Festival taking place August 5–9, 2013 from 10:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m. on Richard J. Daley Plaza. Live musical and dance performances take place from 12 –1 p.m. each day. The festival is free and open to the public. Montes took time out to speak with Lawndale Bilingual Newspaper about Chicago Sister Cities International Festival.

Lawndale News: Can you give me a brief description of what the Chicago Sister Cities International Festival is about?
The festival is an annual celebration of Chicago’s 28 sister cities via food, music, dance, and merchandise.

LN: How has the festival helped Chicago connect to its sister cities?
The festival helps Chicago connect with local contacts and we get input from those overseas. Republic of Korea was heavily involved to find a restaurant to represent them.

LN: How have Chicagoans responded to this annual festival in past years?
Well, we have our regulars, and then we have more supporters. People learn more and join our mailing list. They help spread the word and attend other events that occur throughout the year.

LN: What do they enjoy the most?
Food and shopping. Feedback from downtown workers has shown great interest in the food that is served by the different vendors.

LN: What can Chicagoans expect to see at this festival? What will be different this year?
More sister cities (almost all) are represented this year. It is hard to have all of them represented, but this year most of them will be. There is also more merchandise and food.

LN: What would you like to tell people who have not had a chance to attend a Chicago Sister Cities International Festival?
Come out to experience different cultures. Chicago is very diverse and this event has all our cultures in one spot.

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