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6th annual Fusion Fest returns to Downtown Orlando

ORLANDO, Fla. — Fusion Fest is returning for its 6th year in downtown Orlando.

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Over 70 vendors are gearing up for the 2-day festival that begins Saturday, November 25th.

It will bring together cultures through a variety of activities ranging from food and fashion showcases to performances.

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Over 100 different cultures will be represented, and admission is free.

“Taste your way around the world. Take a walk around the world, without ever leaving downtown,” said Terry Olson, the Chief Instigator for Fusion Fest.

Attendees will experience music, dance, food, visual arts, spoken word, games and interactive activities. It’s all meant to highlight creativity within each culture.

“People from all over the world are settling here and making themselves at home here in Central Florida. So, that’s part of what we’re doing-- is celebrating that great diversity,” said Olson.

Vendors like Anna Byrnes spent much of Friday getting ready.  Her family helped her set up a tent that was filled with traditional Ukrainian clothing. They also set-up a second tent where they will sell typical Ukrainian food.

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The family owns Ukrainian Traditional Food: a business born in the aftermath of the war in Ukraine.

The kitchen employs war refugees who have since moved to Central Florida. Their kitchen is based in Longwood and provides meals for pick-up and delivery.

“We’re going to have Varenyky, Ukrainian hotdogs, Ukrainian cheesecakes, and kebabs,” said Byrnes.

While all the vendors will be able to share their culture, the Byrnes family has another mission too.

They say all profits from the festival will go to a medical group they’ve worked with since the war began that serves amputees in Anna Byrnes’ hometown.

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“We want people to remember there’s a big problem of freedom in Ukraine so were here to spread that word and hopefully some good food,” said Anna’s husband, John Byrnes.

Free tickets to Fusion Fest are available online here.

The festival will be held At the Seneff Arts Plaza at Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in Downtown Orlando. The hours are Saturday from 10 am to 8pm, and Sunday Noon until 6pm.

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