CENTERVILLE -- If you want to experience the flavor of Peru, taste it for yourself at the upcoming Peruvian Festival.
One of the most popular foods -- always certain to draw a long line -- are the anticuchos, or barbecued meat on skewers, says Francisco Calderon, festival director.
Or if sweets are more to your liking, Calderon says, "I recommend a Peruvian doughnut -- picarones," another menu item sure to create a lineup.
Other foods that will be dished up during the July 20 and 21 event at Founders Park, 300 N. 100 East, include lomo saltado, tamales and ceviche.
And to wash it all down? Try an Inca Kola, a Peruvian soft drink that some say tastes like liquid bubble gum.
Besides food, the fifth annual celebration of the culture and independence of this South American nation features more than 100 performers presenting dancing and live music, ranging from folk music to rock. Artwork, crafts and children's activities are planned, and a fitness show will spotlight the Zumba craze.
The festival typically draws 3,000 to 4,000 visitors, says Calderon, of Bountiful. About 70 percent of those attending are not Peruvian, he says. "It's not a Peruvian event, it's a community event ... it's a Utah event."
One aim of the festival is to share the culture of Peru with the community; another is to preserve traditions for new generations of children, Calderon says.
The celebration also recognizes the South American nation's Independence Day on July 28.
The addition of a complete food fair is new this year, Calderon says, to let folks discover why the Organization of American States recognized Peru's rich cuisine in 2011 with a Cultural Heritage of the Americas award.
The festival runs from 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. July 20 and 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. July 21. Admission is free.
For more information, call 801-683-9737 or visit www.utahperufestival.com.
WHAT: Peruvian Festival
WHEN: 5-9:30 p.m. July 20 and 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m. July 21
WHERE: Founders Park, 300 N. 100 East, Centerville