Apr 1, 2014

Festival of Nations Returns to Saint Paul RiverCentre May 1-4

Festival of Nations, Minnesota’s largest multi-cultural celebration, returns to Saint Paul RiverCentre Thursday, May 1 through Sunday, May 4. This year’s theme, Peace Among the People, will be seen throughout the Festival. Thousands of students experience the festival on Thursday and Friday, and the public is invited to attend Friday afternoon through Sunday.

Ride Metro Transit’s light-rail and busses to Festival of Nations for free on Saturday and Sunday with a “Go Greener Pass” available for download at FestivalOfNations.com. There will also be a special Military Night on Friday, May 2 with $10 tickets available for active and retired military men and women with valid ID.

New this year, Festival of Nations is hosting an Art Slam competition on Saturday featuring six first-generation American artists creating artwork inspired by the Festival’s theme, Peace Among the People. Also in line with the theme, the Peace Bell will be on loan from Duluth, bringing its story of war, forgiveness, and friendship. There will be a Peace Path for people to walk, as well as a Peace Coffee pop-up shop.

During the three public days, Festival of Nations invites people of all ages to Think Global, Celebrate Local with their friends and family. The Festival brings together people from a vast array of backgrounds to celebrate their ethnic heritage, learn about other cultures and enjoy great food. Through exhibits, food, music, dance and personal connections, Festival of Nations provides a look into the traditions, history and journey of over 90 ethnic groups and sheds light on how each one contributes to the American cultural landscape.

• ENTERTAINMENT – Over 100 dancers and musicians perform on three stages throughout the Festival. On Friday, May 2, the Ticket to Brasil will perform a special concert from 7 - 10 p.m. on the Café Stage, free with Festival admission.
• CULTURAL EXHIBITS – Community members will showcase their distinctive cultures through 52 interactive exhibits. Festival visitors can pick up a Festival of Nations Passport to be stamped at each stop.
• ETHNIC CAFÉS –From Palestinian falafel to Colombian tamales to Tibetan mo-mos and Norwegian lefse, enjoy fare served around the world at 32 ethnic food cafés. Proceeds from each café benefit local non-profit organizations.
• ETHNIC DEMONSTRATIONS – This is a fun and interactive activity for the whole family! Many folk artisans practicing crafts passed down through generations and interactive, educational demonstrations will be featured in over 30 different booths.
• INTERNATIONAL BAZAAR – Shopping from around the globe with booths representing 68 countries, with imported gifts including clothing, jewelry and artifacts from many cultures.
• INTERNATIONAL BEER EXPERIENCE – New this year, patrons 21+ can enjoy beers from around the world and visit with Festival of Nations beer experts.
• NATURALIZATION CEREMONY – On Friday evening in the Bazaar Courtyard, Festival of Nations visitors can watch as 15 people become U.S. citizens. The ceremony begins at 6 p.m.
• ART SLAM - Saturday features the festival’s first Art Slam, where six first-generation American artists will go head-to-head, creating artwork inspired by the festival’s theme, Peace Among the People.