The old General Motors factory in Doraville that has been vacant for nearly three years saw a fleeting breath of life this weekend as hundreds attended the first DeKalb International Food and Music Festival.
The festival, which was held Nov. 12, featured food vendors from all over DeKalb County, and world music performances throughout the afternoon and evening.
“Thank you for coming out today, for having a good time, for being a face that everybody doesn’t get to see. The true face of America lies right here in DeKalb County so give yourselves a round of applause and have a good time,” DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis told the crowd.
The food included reasonably priced dishes from Ethiopian, Jamaican, Korean and Caribbean vendors and attendees were encouraged to walk around and enjoy the music. There were also covered eating areas.
“This is a wonderful day in DeKalb County because it is one of the most diverse counties in our nation,” DeKalb County Commissioner Sharon Barnes Sutton said.
Stan Watson, the DeKalb County commissioner instrumental in putting the festival together, said the support was overwhelming and all his expectations were met.
“They told me that a little over 1,000 people showed up, which is impressive for the first year. I think the music was also the most diverse thing I’ve seen in DeKalb County,” Watson said.
Throughout the evening, musical groups performed traditional music from places including Romania, the Caribbean, Korea and China.
“I had a great time; I stayed there all day until they closed the gate. I thought about this a year ago and I saw my idea come to fruition and I think that next year we’ll have an even bigger festival,” Watson said.