contributed by Anne Marie Green, LUNA Summer Intern 2016

Did you know that within just one neighborhood of Indianapolis there are more than 70 languages spoken? That’s the case in the vibrant, international community of the Lafayette Square area located on the northwest side of Indianapolis. The area has been recognized by the New York Times as a place where “the world comes to eat.”  

The International Marketplace Coalition (IMC) is a unique organization serving to promote revitalization in the neighborhood by creating an attractive environment with sustainable economic development. With a mission of service and sustainability and a vision of an economically strong, international community, the IMC plans to transform the Lafayette Square area into an international marketplace. The area will provide an opportunity in Indianapolis to taste the world and experience different cultures without leaving the city.

Taste the Difference Festival is the IMC’s annual event promoting the revitalization of the Lafayette Square area. At the festival, you can sample dishes from area ethnic restaurants, markets, and bakeries. The event also includes cultural dances, ethnic performances, exhibitors in traditional clothing, and a free health fair with health screenings and flu shots. Last year’s festival included more than 25 restaurants, over 60 exhibitors, and more than 1,500 attendees.

Terri Skipper, Director of Economic Development at the IMC, said, “My favorite part of the Taste the Difference Festival – aside from sampling all of the delicious food representing various parts of the world- is the opportunity that we have to interact and [build] fellowship with the more than 2,000 patrons participating in the event. It truly is a festive atmosphere and a good time for all.”

This year, the 10th anniversary of the festival, the event is being held on October 1, 2016 from 11:30 AM – 3:30 PM at New Wineskin Ministries. LUNA applauds IMC’s commitment to the international community in Indianapolis.