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International Flavor Fest launches in downtown Laramie Tuesday

Photos from the 2023 International Flavor Fest in Laramie. The weeklong celebration includes both globally-inspired food specials and cultural events across downtown.
Courtesy of Deborah Ross
Photos from the 2023 International Flavor Fest in Laramie. The weeklong celebration includes both globally-inspired food specials and cultural events across downtown.

Laramie's International Flavor Fest is returning this week for its third year, giving city residents and university students the chance to sample a plethora of global cuisines.

The International Flavor Fest is a weeklong celebration hosted across Laramie by more than 20 downtown restaurants, who will whip up internationally-inspired specials. This year’s festival includes a wide variety of dishes — from Egyptian falafel at Sweet Melissa’s Vegetarian Cafe, to Venezuelan tajadas at the Alibi.

Festival Co-founder Deborah Ross said sharing food is one of the best ways to build a connection between peoples.

"Everybody shares in food and has so many memories tied to food — in their families, their heritage, their culture," she said. "And sharing that with other people is another way to get to know them better."

Most specials will be available from Tuesday through Saturday, but some are one-night only. Additional events, including a trivia night, a dance night and a cultural showcase, will take place throughout the week at locations across downtown. A full schedule can be found on the Laramie Main Street Alliance website.

Ross said the organizers also gathered more than 60 short essays from both Laramie locals and international University of Wyoming students.

"It doesn't have to be long and it doesn't have to be the most beautiful, well-written story,” she said. "It's mostly describing the food and their memories and what they want to share about their culture and their heritage."

The essays illustrate a broad range of global perspectives, with writers hailing from more than 40 nations.

The organizers will announce the writing contest winner during a public kick-off event at their downtown office tomorrow.

Jeff is a part-time reporter for Wyoming Public Media, as well as the owner and editor of the Laramie Reporter, a free online news source providing in-depth and investigative coverage of local events and trends.

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