110 - international festival lorain

18.) Lorain International Festival and Bazaar – June 25, 2010

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AUTHOR’S NOTE: I returned to the Lorain International Festival and Bazaar in 2016. You can read that review here –

http://ohiofestivals.net/lorain-international-festival

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When I was a child, my mother would take my brother and me to the Lorain International Festival. At the time, it was held in a Sheffield Village parking lot, where two to three large circus tents held a series of ethnic food booths. We would be off, nabbing various items and sharing our purchases with each other.

It’s how I was introduced to various cuisines, such as Puerto Rican, soul food, and Vietnamese. And it’s how my curiosity for other cuisines began to grow.

Today, the festival takes place in Lorain’s downtown location, the Black River Landing. Overall, the location is much nicer than the previous location and there’s an amount of pride associated with the overlooking Charles Berry Bridge

…the second largest bascule bridge in the world.

There’s also a stage…

…plenty of space for inflatable diversions…

…and structures for plenty of ethnic food booths…

…which you can buy from and then eat in the various locations.

My only problem with the Lorain International is that the midway is not set up well for large crowds. Unlike the old days, when the booths were in circus tents, the space between the opposing rows of booths is not very wide. As a result, lines from the booths bleed into the middle, creating a game of human dodge-ems.

.

And, like the Taste of Cincinnati, people ate in motion, moved in groups, or pushed strollers (as we did). This can be rather jarring if you go when everyone else goes.

But, in the end, we did get some flavorful food, bouncing between two Puerto Rican booths.

This year, we ate…

…rice and beans…

pasteles

…and I felt like a kid again.

o

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