It wasn't just food and fun. The International Taste of Niles brought in proceeds that will run the Niles Sister Cities program over its next year of operation.
The Taste, which is the main annual fundraiser for the village's Sister Cities program, took in about $8,000, and netted about $6,000 after expenses, said Niles Village Manager George Van Geem.
"We're grateful the public came out to support it. We had about 400 in attendance this year," he said of the Nov. 20 event, held at White Eagle Banquets in Niles.
Restaurants donate the food served at the Taste, and a number of companies and individuals donate silent auction items, so that the proceeds can fund the Sister Cities program.
Niles has four sister cities: Nafplion, Greece; Leixlip, Ireland, Limanowa, Poland and Pisa, Italy. Through the Sister Cities program, delegations from the foreign cities come here, or Niles delegations may travel overseas.
"Our mission is mostly educational. We like to involve students in the exchange programs," Van Geem noted.
A delegation of a teacher and several students visited from Pisa, Italy this fall.
"We welcome educators to come to one of our meetings," said Andrew Wywrot, who organizes the relationship with Limanowa, Poland. To learn when they are scheduled, call Kathy Thake at the village at 847-588-8000.
At the Taste itself, however, education mainly involved educating one's palate to ethnic flavors.
Blintzes from Lone Tree Manor, pasta from Graziano's and Amici Ristorante, Athenian chicken from Kappy's, kielbasa from White Eagle Banquets, chop chae from Woori Village--all that and more were being dished up.
Enzo Incandela, the Happy Singers, Joe McShane and Cretan Youth of Chicago provided entertainment.