Feature: Celebrate Nashville Cultural Festival

This past Saturday, Centennial Park was transformed into a lively, vivacious global community at the Celebrate Nashville Cultural Festival. This festival is a steadily growing annual tradition, regularly drawing over 40,000 attendees, which seeks to embrace cultural diversity through performances and food originating from over fifty cultures which call Nashville home.

Local group Danza Azteca performing Saturday afternoon.

I was definitely surprised by the cultural diversity present in what I initially assumed to be a fairly homogenous community dominated by white America and country music. When my friends and I first walked into the park, these assumptions were proven wrong. We immediately heard lively Mariachi music and were greeted by multiple individuals excitedly advertising their groups and upcoming events.

The first move we made once on the grounds was, of course, finding where food was for sale, and we were not disappointed. We saw food trucks and stands ranging from Mexican fare to Vietnamese Bánh mì rolls (again, a pleasant surprise in terms of cultural diversity). In the end, we decided to go for Mexican food and were not disappointed by the incredible burritos, chips, and fruit teas they had for sale. Our experience in line for this food was made exponentially better (and a bit bizarre) by the backdrop of Indian classical music and bluegrass we heard performed during our wait.

Sophia Meyer (left) and Elise Estrada (right) enjoying their fruit teas.

Finally, we were able to sit down and enjoy an exciting music and dance performance from local group Danza Azteca. Their performance was incredibly energetic, fun to watch, and culturally educative due to the intricate history of the tradition and their elaborate costumes.

Danza Azteca.

In conclusion, this was an incredibly unique and fun way to escape the Vanderbubble, and I highly recommend checking it out next October!