Taste of Diversity Festival this Saturday June 2 @ Lafayette Ave. and Grant St.


Like most metropolitan cities, Buffalo has a proud history of catering to a diverse group of people; people who all call our beloved city home. Over the years, Buffalo has become home to many European ethnic groups looking to start a new life; African Americans migrating from the South looking for work opportunities; or Hispanics who migrated here in hopes of obtaining the good ol’ fashion “American Dream.” Like those before them and those to come, Buffalo has remained a place to come and build a new life. Since 2003, the “Taste of Diversity Festival” has showcased our city’s diverse culture. Ethnic foods, arts, crafts, clothing, and music have been a mainstay of the festival since its inception and with each passing year the event has gotten bigger and better. This year organizers have gone the extra mile to weave Grant Street businesses into the fabric of the festival. In the past, the festival was held exclusively on Lafayette Avenue. This year, by popular demand, the festival will take place at the intersection of Grant Street and Lafayette Avenue. The move puts the festival in the heart of Buffalo's most ethnically diverse community as well as one of the city’s most recognizable business districts on the West Side. Organizers hope that this year will be the beginning of bigger (and brighter) things to come. The festival, set to feature Middle Eastern Belly Dancing and free hand henna tattoo artistry, will also sell food from a variety of ethnic groups like Ethiopia, the Caribbean Islands and Asia. And, for those interested in learning how to make these exotic dishes at home, festival organizers will provide guests with a “Taste of Diversity Cookbook” upon a $2 donation. The cookbook will also be made available at 205 Grant Street’s local bookstore, Westside Stories. Despite what the naysayers have to say, diversity, at its core is a good thing. Many companies spend thousands of dollars trying to diversify their workforce and teach their employers how to be more culturally sensitive. Many school districts around the country could only hope and wish for the ethnic diversity so commonly found in Buffalo's neighborhoods. With a festival dedicated to showcasing diversity, Buffalonians should come out to support an event that exhibits what we sometimes take for granted. The Taste of Diversity Festival will take place this Saturday, June 2 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the corner of Lafayette Avenue and Grant Street. For more information about the Taste of Diversity Festival, visit them online at www.TasteofDiversity.org