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World Square Returns to Downtown – Celebrating Pittsburgh’s International and Immigrant Communities

Monday, May 24, 2021

From June 11 to June 13, while the Three Rivers Arts Festival is in full swing, Market Square will once again be transformed with the sights, sounds, and cuisine of the international and immigrant communities of Pittsburgh. “World Square – Welcoming All of Pittsburgh’s Neighbors” provides a global outlook and a unique opportunity for international and newcomer communities within the region.

The event was first launched in 2019 as a community collaboration spearheaded by the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership and Welcoming Pittsburgh initiative from Mayor Peduto to better support and integrate Pittsburgh’s immigrant and refugee communities. Via a showcase of businesses, artists, makers, performers, and food purveyors from across the various international newcomer communities, the event creates a welcoming environment for the Pittsburgh community to experience a diverse array of cultures in a spirit of inclusivity.

“Celebrating our rich immigrant cultures and providing opportunities for them to inform our community about the diversity and energy that help shape our city and has never been more important than now” said Mayor William Peduto. “We’re thrilled to see the return of this event Downtown, and to recognize and celebrate the cultural expressions of our international neighbors.”

The vibrant return will find vendors of hand-crafted items, prepared foods, live entertainment, and much more, spanning three consecutive days that, with drastically reduced safety mandates for outdoor gatherings, is expected to see a significant increase in foot traffic – an extra boost for those vendors who faced serious challenges throughout 2020.

“World Square aims to help build connections through an entertaining and immersive experience that highlights the diversity of the various communities that call Pittsburgh home,” said Feyisola Akintola, Special Initiatives Manager for the City of Pittsburgh. “We have such a vibrant immigrant, refugee, and international community in Pittsburgh. It’s really exciting to have representation of these diverse cultures, different foods, cultural performances and musical acts, and bring them to increasingly engaged audiences in a positive and accurate way.”

A sampling of vendors includes:

  • Alquisiras Restaurante y Paletería, serving authentic Mexican ice cream
  • Authentically African by Moa, imported West African fashion and accessories, as well as handmade crafts
  • Costa RicART, featuring handmade goods crafted from reused materials
  • El Rincon Oaxaqueño, specializing in authentic oaxaqueño recipes
  • Pisko Peruvian Gourmet, serving authentic Peruvian food
  • You Can Call Me YOKO, handmade gemstone and crystals jewelry
  • Zafaron Afghan Cuisine, featuring delicious dishes from Afghanistan
  • and more.

Entertainment will vary over the three days, including performances by Pittsburgh Samba, Oladayo, Geña y Peña, Alba Flamenca, Naina Kathak Dance Troupe, and others. A full entertainment lineup will be available at WorldSquarePGH.com.

Additional community organizations served on the World Square Steering Committee and their contributions helped to create this event. These organizations include:

  • Welcoming Pittsburgh
  • Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership
  • The Global Switchboard
  • Pittsburgh Hispanic Development Corporation
  • Pittsburgh Metropolitan Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
  • PittGlobal and Program for Immigrant/International Entrepreneurs (PIE)
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • All for All
  • Jewish Family and Community Services
  • Hello Neighbor

Generous support for World Square has been provided by the Benedum Foundation and the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.

Learn more about the City of Pittsburgh’s Welcoming Pittsburgh initiative.

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