Mayo Street Arts in Portland is hosting “A Taste of Nations Food Festival” Saturday in collaboration with Fork Food Lab. File photo / Portland Press Herald

Mayo Street Arts in Portland is adding food to its cultural offerings this weekend, partnering with Fork Food Lab for its first-ever Taste of Nations Food Festival.

The nonprofit organization in East Bayside, which offers a variety of programs to showcase the international character of the neighborhood, will host the festival from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday.

“We present a lot of New Mainer artists at our international open mic and arts network, but this is the first time we’ve presented food vendors,” said Executive Director Ian Bannon.

Partnering with food vendors is another way to bring together community and raise money for Mayo Street Arts’ work, he said.

“We offer our neighbors in low-income housing units free after-school programs, a summer youth program and elementary school programs where we send artists to the schools for free workshops and shows,” he said.

Six vendors will be set up both inside and on a patio at 10 Mayo St., with alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages available, a variety of dietary options and three DJs.


“The vendors are so passionate about doing this to share their love of their own culture, and to bring other people into a relationship with that culture,” Bannon said.

Food, he said, like music or fashion, is one avenue into learning about and appreciating a culture other than your own and forming relationships with people of those cultures.

“It’s really about the human connection behind there that’s the real draw in my mind,” he said.

The day will also include an art instillation by the residents and staff of Portland Housing Authority.

Vendors include Cambodia’s Best, Oga Suya Nigerian Barbecue and Hellenic Kitchen.

“When I was growing up, this may not have been as common, but Portland has blossomed and we’re blessed to have lots of different food options,” Bannon said.

Entry is $10 and each taste is $5. Tickets will be sold by the hour to help the event run smoothly.

For more information and to purchase tickets, go to

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