KNOXVILLE - The Lonsdale community is celebrating the diverse culture of its residents with the start of its third annual Lonsdale International Food & Crafts Market.
The market is held at Lonsdale Park every second Sunday of the month from April to October, weather permitting. It starts at 11 a.m. and goes until 4 p.m.
Rosie Noriega, chair of the Latino Task Force and market volunteer said it all begin three years ago with an international festival at Lonsdale Elementary. The group recognized a need and the market evolved from there.
Dozens of vendors spend one Saturday a month showcasing food and crafts from their home countries.
Ruth Alcantara makes Salvadorian Pupusa, a traditional corn tortilla filled with cheese and pork. It’s a staple at the market.
"For her to be able to say, this is from my country, this is from El Salvador, it's a very big source of pride," Noriega said.
Foods anywhere from barbeque to authentic Mexican tamales are served each month.
"We want to share our culture from our country. We want people to recognize the beauty of the Latino foods," Noriega said.
She said it’s more than just the food, it's a chance for people of all backgrounds to celebrate their differences.
"You can make new friends, you can meet new people and at the same time try new things," Itzel Flores, an 11-year-old girl who attends the market each month said.
In a community that's recently witnessed numerous acts of violence, the market celebrates the good and neighborly compassion within the Lonsdale community.
"I think the best way to live in harmony in any part of the world is to know your neighbors, to know a little bit about their culture,” Noriega said. "It's helping this community to be seen in a better light."
The market is always looking additional volunteers and vendors. If you'd like to get involved or would like more information, visit their Facebook page.
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