20th Annual WorldFest Returns to Louisville


LOUISVILLE. Ky. — Labor Day weekend marks the return of Louisville’s premier international festival. WorldFest celebrates its 20th anniversary with over 150 cultures represented in food vendors, fashion and music.


What do you want to know

  • The 20th annual WorldFest takes place September 2-5 at the Belvedere in Louisville
  • WorldFest features food, entertainment and clothing stalls
  • Emily Martin helped organize the event as Special Events Coordinator for the Louisville Mayor’s Office
  • Food vendors like Abol Cafe, All Thai’d Up, many more were present

Tar Molla, the owner of Abol Cafe in Louisville, is gearing up for his first year at WorldFest. The Louisville resident moved here 15 years ago to share his love of Ethiopian coffee with Kentuckians. The husband and father of three is already a big fan of the festival.

Tar Molla, the owner of Abol Cafe in Louisville is gearing up for his first year at WorldFest. (Spectrum News 1/Diamond Palmer)

“We just want to share what we have. We have roast coffee, we have camping coffee, we have thyme tea and more,” Molla said.

Molla is just one of many food vendors who represent her culture, wanting people to recognize and appreciate her.

“You will have a different experience…instead of going to another country, you will have it here, right here [in Louisville]”Molla said.

Flags from all different countries can be found indicating different food and clothing vendors. WorldFest celebrates 20 years of being the region’s largest and most diverse international festival. For food vendor, All Thai’d Up, they haven’t missed a year.

“It was one of the first festivals I attended and I was like, ‘Hey, I have a food truck. Hey can I join,” Aphaivongs-Harrod said.

Katherine Aphaivongs-Harrod is from Thailand. The All Thai’d Up owner moved permanently to Louisville in 2017 after spending time in Thailand running her first restaurant. Also known as Chef Kat, she recently opened All Thai’d Up, a brick-and-mortar store in Louisville after running her food truck. She says it was all because she needed more authentic Thai food.

Katherine Aphaivongs-Harrod, owner of All Thai’d Up prepares Boba Tea at WorldFest 2022. (Spectrum News 1/Diamond Palmer)

“There are Thai restaurants everywhere, but they’ve been Americanized to such an extent that you no longer recognize what the dish actually is,” Aphaivongs-Harrod said.

When your belly is full, WorldFest has tons of places to shop for jewelry, home decor, and clothing. Plus, your fair share of musical selections. The city says it’s an ongoing effort to be inclusive. Emily Martin helped organize the event as Special Events Coordinator for the Louisville Mayor’s Office.

“Our Globalization Office here has done a lot to grow and be such a welcoming city. Being as inclusive as possible is what WorldFest aims to be,” Martin said.

WorldFest will continue all the festivities until September 5th. To see the complete list of activities, Click here.

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