Flavor of Federal Way unites cultures of Federal Way community

Flavor of Federal Way unites cultures of Federal Way community

The multicultural festival was held Saturday at Town Square Park.

Some travel the world to experience other cultures, but Federal Way locals got a taste of diversity closer to home at the second annual Flavor of Federal Way multicultural festival last weekend.

Hundreds gathered to share their heritage, traditions, cuisine and more during Saturday’s event hosted at Town Square Park.

While “Flavor” is commonly thought of as a cultural food festival, it is named to reflect the vast and rich ways of life in Federal Way, said Gregory Baruso, logistics manager for the Flavor of Federal Way and chairman of Federal Way’s Diversity Commission.

“Flavor of Federal Way means to me … bringing diversity together within the city,” he said. “The different cultures, seeing how they mix with each other and the food is just part of it.”

Flavor’s inaugural event last year saw 55 vendors and six food vendors. This year, the festival welcomed 11 food vendors and a total of 84 profit and nonprofit vendors, along with 12 performances taking stage throughout the day.

“When you think about the rich talent we have here in the city, it’s like ‘Wow,’” he said. “You never knew — until you start asking.”

The worldly lineup of entertainment included Dana Purepecha Emanuel, Washington Diamonds Drill Team, Ranjeet Gatka, Mansung Pungmul Dan, spoken word performances and many others.

“It’s been a culmination of a whole year’s work from trying to take off of the success from last year and expand it more to celebrate the diversity of the city and the people that live here,” Baruso said.

The commission asked vendors to chat with one another and get to know each other. Baruso said he saw food vendors sharing dishes and tasting each others recipes. Food offerings of Indian, Ethiopian and Uzbekistan, among others.

Attendees wandered through the vendor corridors with booths for immigration law help, political organizations, voter registration, health care, arts, community services and cultural traditions.

When vendors apply for the flavor event, the process has each vendor explain why it is important for their organization or group to be at an event celebrating diversity, Baruso said. This step in the process helps the Diversity Commission ensure each vendor is helping progress the work plan for the city and demonstrate Federal Way’s diversity scene.

Members of the Khalsa Gurmat School, a Sikh institution serving the Seattle area, offered free turban tyings during the festival. Elected officials, City Council members and candidate hopefuls, as well as festival goers of all ages donned colorful turbans in yellow, pink, blue and purple.

Gazing at the vendor booth where a father and daughter sat waiting as their turbans were expertly wrapped, Baruso said: “That, right there, is what [Flavor of Federal Way] is all about.”


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@federalwaymirror.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.federalwaymirror.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

Olivia Sullivan/staff photos

Olivia Sullivan/staff photos

Flavor of Federal Way unites cultures of Federal Way community

Olivia Sullivan/staff photos

Flavor of Federal Way unites cultures of Federal Way community

Olivia Sullivan/staff photos

Flavor of Federal Way unites cultures of Federal Way community

Olivia Sullivan/staff photos

Flavor of Federal Way unites cultures of Federal Way community

Olivia Sullivan/staff photos

Flavor of Federal Way unites cultures of Federal Way community

Olivia Sullivan/staff photos

More in News

T
Meet King County Council District 7 candidate Dominique Torgerson

Torgerson is running against incumbent Pete von Reichbauer in the Nov. 3 general election.

T
Meet King County Council District 7 candidate Pete von Reichbauer

Incumbent is running against challenger Dominique Torgerson in the Nov. 3 general election.

Mirror file photo
Man, 41, found dead in Des Moines garage after reported shooting

A 33-year-old woman was arrested at the scene, police say.

Photo courtesy of Red Robin Gourmet Burger's Facebook page
Red Robin Gourmet Burgers is returning to Federal Way

New location expected to open in early November, company says.

A volunteer packs grocery items into a paper bag at the MSC Food Bank on Wednesday, May 27, 2020. Olivia Sullivan/staff photo
Multi-Service Center food bank in need of volunteers

The Federal Way food bank is seeing an increase in customers.

Photos courtesy of Good Shepherd Youth Outreach
Louis Guiden, right, began the Feeding Our Community program in April 2020. Since then, they distribute food to about 1,600 families per month.
Friendly neighborhood ‘hope dealer’ feeds Federal Way

Louis Guiden’s Good Shepherd Youth Outreach is a finalist for the 2022 Chick-fil-A True Inspiration awards; voting ends Sept. 25.

Police lights
WinCo employee shot by customer in Federal Way

Police arrested the 24-year-old suspect on Sept. 9.

Poverty Bay Cafe is located at 1108 S. 322nd Place in Federal Way. Olivia Sullivan/the Mirror
Poverty Bay Café closes due to staffing shortages

The local cafe plans to hire all new staff, reopen in a couple months.

Most Read