Flavor of Federal Way to showcase city’s diversity

Performers, vendors, nonprofits, volunteers sought for Aug. 18 event

With the goal of highlighting and celebrating the diversity of Federal Way, several organizations are hosting the Flavor of Federal Way this summer.

The Federal Way Diversity Commission, Advancing Leadership and the city of Federal Way will put on the free event from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 18, at Town Square Park, 31600 Pete von Reichbauer Way S. The event will include food, vendors and live entertainment that represent a range of ethnicities including the African-American Hispanic, Indian, Filipino and Korean cultures. All cultural communities are welcome to participate.

Greg Baruso, chair of the Diversity Commission, said the commission came up with the idea while creating its work plan.

“We do different events,” Baruso said of the commission. “Our signature event, of course, is the Martin Luther King celebration. But we wanted to bring something to the city to have a little bit more exposure for the commission, too. … It is a celebration of food, dance and just the diversity of Federal Way itself. We wanted to have something different than everyone else.”

The Diversity Commission pitched the idea for the Flavor of Federal Way to Advancing Leadership, which is an intensive, award-winning leadership development program founded by the Federal Way Chamber of Commerce and its partners in 1998.

The project was one of five Advancing Leadership selected for this year.

Jessica Cox is one of the Advancing Leadership students working on the Flavor of Federal Way.

“I have done an event similar to this when I lived in Oregon,” Cox said. “I was excited to see that this was one of (the projects), but also knew it was a lot of work.”

An event like the Flavor of Federal Way is something Cox thought the community was missing.

“There is just not a space or an event like this, but there needs to be one because we are one of the most diverse cities in King County,” she said. “There should be a space for us to celebrate that.”

In addition to featuring vendors, performers and food, the Flavor of Federal Way will connect attendees to nonprofit organizations providing needed resources.

“There are over 120 languages spoken in the Federal Way School District,” Cox said. “Our city is very diverse. There are so many different pockets and communities within Federal Way. We are really just trying to reach those people and get them connected and bring them to this space that celebrates that.”

Applications are being accepted for vendors, nonprofits, performers and sponsors.

Organizers are also looking for volunteers of all ages to help various tasks, including setting up and tearing down, greeting attendees, directing traffic and general help during the event.