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.