By Terry Rogers
On Sunday, November 15, Downtown Milford Inc. (DMI) sponsored the first International Food Festival in downtown Milford. The festival was held in the same location as the Farmer’s Market, between Walnut Street and the Library on the Riverwalk.
“The purpose of this festival was to not only support local Milford businesses, but also to celebrate the cultural diversity in Milford through food,” said Noa Kornbluh, Main Street Community Coordinator. “We have had great feedback from vendors and festival attendees who enjoyed great food and great weather.”
Several vendors provided foods with an international flavor throughout the event. Even local restaurants who are not normally considered to serve food with an international flavor participated, including Arena’s and Abbott’s Grill. LeLoLi Café brought their new food truck, serving Puerto Rican foods created by the owner, who is from that country.
“It was a wonderful event,” said Madula, owner of Westside Restaurant, who was born and raised in Greece. “We served some of our Greek specialties which we also offer at the restaurant. I only wish we had anticipated how many people would be attending because we ran out of food far too early. We anticipated feeding 100 people, but the food was so popular, people were taking more than one serving.”
Madula said that the event was a huge success, not only for those who attended, but for the local businesses who participated. She said that it was a way to promote the international flavors available in Milford, many of which residents do not even know exist. She said that Westside was already looking forward to the event next year and would be much better prepared for a larger crowd.
“I think the only complaint I heard all day was that some of the portions were too big,” Ms. Kornbluh said. “They said they didn’t have room in their stomach to try as many different vendors as they would have liked.”
DMI hopes to make the International Food Festival an annual event and is looking for ideas for more unique events to hold in the downtown area.