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The Journal Gazette

  • Rachel Von Stroup | The Journal Gazette David Calderon works Saturday on making pupusas in the Language Services Network tent during the International Village, part of the Three Rivers Festival in the Club Soda parking lot.

  • Rachel Von Stroup | The Journal Gazette Marie Mendoza serves food to customers in the Filipino-American Society of Fort Wayne tent during the International Village, part of the Three Rivers Festival in the Club Soda parking lot on Saturday July 20, 2019. The event features songs, dances, storytelling, demonstrations, food, and crafts from different cultures that live in Fort Wayne.

  • Rachel Von Stroup | The Journal Gazette Dancers perform a Philippines Dance during the International Village, part of the Three Rivers Festival in the Club Soda parking lot on Saturday July 20, 2019. The event features songs, dances, storytelling, demonstrations, food, and crafts from different cultures that live in Fort Wayne.

  • Rachel Von Stroup | The Journal Gazette Gennierose Parent, 20, performs a Philippines Dance on stage during the International Village, part of the Three Rivers Festival in the Club Soda parking lot on Saturday July 20, 2019. The event features songs, dances, storytelling, demonstrations, food, and crafts from different cultures that live in Fort Wayne.

Sunday, July 21, 2019 1:00 am

International Village hot TRF event

Temperatures fail to ruin day of dancing, food

MATTHEW LEBLANC | The Journal Gazette

Jeanette Thompson led a troupe of about a dozen people Saturday through a Serbian folk dance called the Savila se Bela Loza. 

A veteran Fort Wayne folk dancer, the 83-year-old took her volunteer ensemble – each member in line, holding the hand of another member – on a serpentine route near a stage at the International Village, part of the Three Rivers Festival. 

“It wasn't easy at all,” said Thompson. “I'm sweating bullets.”

That's because it was hot. Thermometers said temperatures were over 90 degrees Saturday afternoon, but the heat index made it feel much hotter. 

But that didn't stop the few dozen people at the village from enjoying dancing and songs, food and crafts. 

Vendors offered clothes, handmade jewelry, handbags and baskets. Food items included Salvadoran pupusas – corn cakes filled with cheese and beans or meat – and a Japanese dessert called daifuku, a small rice cake with a sweet filling. 

The food drew many of the visitors to the village, but dancing and performances including Native American flute and Sri Lankan chanting also brought people out. 

“I'm perfectly happy with the heat,” John Coffman said as he enjoyed a bowl of lentil curry. “I think this kind of diversity is important for the city.”

Andrew Zurbrugg, 39, stood in a tent where vegetarian Sri Lankan dishes were offered by the Indiana Buddhist Temple. 

“It's an interesting cuisine,” he said. “It's diverse. It's a little bit like Indian.”

For Cambria Hartman and Wolfgang Young, a visit to the International Village was a celebration. 

Young, 19, said he usually performs at the Three Rivers Festival. This year, he bought a pan flute and enjoyed some lunch in the shade near the stage. 

“I usually don't get around to the rest of the festival,” Young said. 

Hartman turned 18 Friday.

“I wanted to celebrate it here today,” she said. 

Saturday's fireworks signaled the end of the festival. 

mleblanc@jg.net