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ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Civic leaders are hoping to make the city a destination for immigrants and refugees, while at the same time, making sure those who are new to the region feel welcomed and celebrated.

It’s why the community is thrilled for the return of The Festival of Nations, August 27-28. The two-day event at Tower Grove Park is one of the largest multi-cultural events in the country and helps support programs by the International Institute of St. Louis.

“We use it to show people who live here – who exactly our neighbors are, what rich culture they bring,” IISTL President and CEO Arrey Obenson said. “It’s a celebration. And it’s tied to the mission of the International Institute. Since 1919, the International Institute has been working to create opportunities for immigrants to thrive in this community. Because when they thrive, it is the entire community that prospers.”

Festival of Nations features dozens of food and retail vendors. Fox 2’s Jasmine Huda spoke with Alma de Mexico’s Octavio Nieto and My Squish Studio Founder Sonja Nguyen about the event.