The place that's known for building Boeing jets and headquartering the Hawks is also the fifth most diverse city in the country.
And on Sept. 22nd and 23rd, Renton is throwing a party to celebrate.
Preeti Shridhar is Renton’s Deputy Public Affairs Manager; she said the goal of the Renton Multicultural Festival, which is going into its second year, is to invite people from all over the northwest to enjoy the many traditions of Renton's diverse community.
"It is certainly about celebrating song, dance, food, and music. But it's also about learning and it's about sharing with each other," Shridhar said.
Along with song and dance from around the world, there will be storytelling, workshops, and global goodies to eat.
Pastor George Huston is a member of Renton’s Inclusion Task Force, which came up with the idea for the festival. He also worked at Renton's Living Hope Christian Fellowship, which houses a Ukrainian church, an Hispanic church, some Free Methodists, and worship groups from many other parts of the world.
He says that's the kind of inclusion that the upcoming festival is about.
"I think it's important because for years people have gotten along just fine. And there tends to be right now, sort of a retreat into cliques. And this is an effort to get people to get to know their neighbors," Houston said.
And everyone knows the best way to get to know your neighbor is to have a party.
"The goal is to get everyone from the community to be part of it, to be part of each other, but the goal is also to showcase this to our broader area because we gain our strength from our diversity," Shridhar said.
And at this party, everyone is welcome, and borders don't exist.
"People are going to get a chance to see the world, right here in Renton," smiled Houston.
The 2017 Renton Multicultural Festival opens Sept. 22, 7-10 pm at Renton’s Carco Theater 1717 SE Maple Valley Highway. On Saturday Sept. 23, it continues from 3 – 7 pm at the Renton Pavilion Event Center and Piazza Park 233 Burnett Avenue South. It’s family friendly and free.
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