Enjoy International Food and Music in Wendell NC

International Food and Music Festival 2016, Wendell NC.
International Food and Music Festival 2016, Wendell NC.

Originally published August 1, 2016; new poster added (below) on August 20, 2016.

The 2016 International Food and Music Festival planning is underway. Shirts have been designed, raffle tickets printed, and entertainment and vendors are being organized behind the scenes. This annual Wendell NC event is being held September 17, 2016, 11am-6pm.

Businesses interested in supporting the event and promoting their offerings may wish to sponsor the festival.  Details on available 2016 sponsorships may be found at www.thefoodfestival.com/sponsorship-opportunities.html.

The International Food and Music Festival has grown over the years — more choices, new raffle prizes, and bigger crowds. Each year, this festival brings thousands out for the day.

For those planning to attend this year’s festival, be prepared to spend the day outdoors listening, watching, and tasting! This festival takes place in and around J. Ashley Wall Towne Square, located at the junction of W Third Street and W Cypress Street, in Wendell NC.

Food, Food, Food!

Food plays such an important part in this event. The food festival vendors converge in the lot next to the town square. Attendees can purchase reasonably-priced foods representing a variety of cuisines.  The 2015 festival included tastes from Ecuador, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Germany, Guatemala, Honduras, Ireland, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, the Phillipines, Poland, plus Cajun and American options.

The 2015 event included a food drive, though one is not planned this year. More details on future collections may be available on the event website.


Come and see performers playing music and showing dances from around the world! Enjoy the elegant costumes, musical variety, and learn a bit about other cultures. Bands, dancers, and musical guests share the town square stage. In past years, our family has grabbed food and then relaxed on the lawn to watch performances.

For adults, a silent auction has been held at the festival in the past.  Details regarding auction items planned for 2016 was not available as of this writing.

For children, “entertainment” includes a variety of games and inflatables. Some games are scheduled, so check the event website when planning your day.


Raffle tickets are already on sale, in advance of the September 2016 event. Raffle tickets are $5 each, for a chance to win prizes:

  • 1st: $3,000 Cash
  • 2nd: Family Get-Away at the Beach (4 days, 3 nights)
  • 3rd: John Deere Riding Mower
  • 4th Apple iPad Pro with cover
  • 5th: Stainless Steel Gas Grill
  • 6th: $500 Cash to the Seller of the 1st prize Winning Ticket

For folks interested in selling raffle tickets before the event, the organizers offer incentives — including free tickets — to those who help sell tickets.

Youth Logo Contest

Children in the Religious Education program at St. Eugene Catholic Church submitted twenty-four candidate concepts for the logo for the 2016 International Food and Music Festival.

The winning logo concept was chosen by a vote of the parish members. This year’s winner was Citlalli Braulio.

Additional Information

St. Eugene’s Catholic Church in Wendell organizes this event each year. According to the event history page:

The seeds of the International Food and Music Festival were first planted in 2002 with the arrival of a missionary pastoral team from Missionhurst CICM. To bring us together and ignite a new spark of life in our church community, Father Charles Phukuta Khonde suggested a festival based on the food of our parishioners’ diverse backgrounds. And since we wanted a fun atmosphere, we complemented the food booths with games, cultural dances, music and a raffle. The location chosen for the event was ambitious – downtown Wendell at the J. Ashley Wall Towne Square. What a leap of faith to organize such a large event right in the middle of town. We were either going to succeed or fail in spectacular fashion, right in front of everybody!

The first International Food Festival was held in September 2003, after months of planning, preparation and hundreds of volunteer hours. God blessed us with a sunny day and a great crowd. More importantly, our church came together, grew stronger and made a great impact on the town of Wendell and the surrounding area.

For more information about the 2016 Festival, visit www.thefoodfestival.com.


New poster below issued August 20, 2016 by the event organizers at St. Eugene.

Latest event poster from August 20, 2016.
Latest event poster from August 20, 2016.
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About Kay Whatley 2309 Articles
Kay Whatley serves as Editor and Reporter with The Grey Area News. Kay is a published author with over 20 years of experience in the publishing industry. Kay Whatley is wife to Frank Whatley, founder of The Grey Area™ newspaper and The Grey Area News online news website.