In 1976 The United States was celebrating the bicentennial of the signing of the Declaration of Independence and from coast to coast, states, cities and towns were celebrating our country's rich heritage. Bill Briare, the mayor of Las Vegas, wanted the city's celebration to reflect the diverse ethnicities and cultures that choose to make Las Vegas their home. He approached a number of the ethnic and cultural clubs in the city with a proposal to do a multi-cultural fair in honor of the bicentennial. The event was such a success that the clubs decided to form the International Festival Association and hold the event annually. For the next 30 years, going on our 31st in 2006, the International Food Festival presented fine ethnic food and entertainment to an eager and appreciative Las Vegas community.
The International Festival Association has several goals: one is to give the citizens and visitors of Las Vegas a better understanding of the different ethnic and cultural groups that live in this community and their traditions. In 1996, the International Festival Association realized that the organization had the opportunity to make a further contribution to the Nevada community through providing college scholarships for deserving students. The International Festival Association became a non-profit organization to put the profits from the food festival to good use in educating Nevada's children. The Association is exempt under IRS 501 (C) (3.)
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