Coming together is important in any community, especially one as tight-knit as Northeast Kansas City. Celebrating the different cultures and people of the world, the International Taste and Tour hosted by the Northeast Kansas City Chamber of Commerce this past Saturday, September 18 is an event to appreciate and experience what makes every culture unique.
“I think it’s an opportunity for us to share the community, not only for those people that live here, but for the people who are new to the community [and] who come here for events like this one,” said Bobbi Baker, president and CEO of Northeast Chamber of Commerce.
The Taste and Tour event provided several varieties of food including tacos, ice cream, quesadillas and more. The event also included types of art that represent the different people of Northeast. The event not only had vendors and food trucks that are a part of the community, but also provided a guided trolley tour of Historic Northeast’s almost fifty prominent murals and art around the neighborhood, all created by local artists.
“I think art is always important to people.,” said artist Kitty Barrett-Kraai, a vendor participating in the event. “Having any sort of art event, even if it is small or even bigger than this, I think it always brings communities together. It really is inspiring,”
This event has been happening over the past seven years as the Chamber of Commerce continues to focus on the food, entertainment and cultures of the community that they serve. The format for this year’s Taste and Tour event was altered to an outdoor food truck event, changing up from the previous years to allow more flexibility in programming and allow local food truck chefs to showcase their creativity. Despite the changes, nearly 350 people showed up to enjoy the culturally-rich event.
“We can share just great things with the community,” Baker-Hughes said.“I want them to come back. I want them to come back to enjoy the food, to enjoy the parks, to enjoy the art.”
“We want [everybody] to feel comfortable on the avenue. We want them to have a good time on the avenue, to come back and stay comfortable,” said Rebecca Koop, the Business and Community Events Director at the Chamber.
The Taste and Tour is an annual event that truly creates a different and great environment for everyone in the community, even individuals who are new to the neighborhood to experience the variety of cultures.
“It celebrates our international people here, our immigrants and our businesses,” Koop said.