Apr 3, 2017

Festival of Nations Returns to Saint Paul RiverCentre (May 4-7)

Festival of Nations, Minnesota's largest multi-cultural celebration, returns to Saint Paul RiverCentre Thursday, May 4 through Sunday, May 7. Thousands of students will experience the Festival on Thursday and Friday during the day, and the Festival will be open to the public Friday afternoon through Sunday.
 
During the three public days, Festival of Nations invites people of all ages to think global and eat local with 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.
 
This year's theme, focusing on Ceremonies and Rituals, will be seen throughout the Festival. "We are excited to host a dance group from the Taiwan National University of Arts," said Executive Director Justin Madel. "The students are professionally trained to perform many kinds of dances including ballet, modern dance, traditional Chinese and folk dances, and aboriginal dance. This year the university is presenting a combination of traditional ethnic dances with elements of American jazz. Attendees can also look forward to group Karaoke and virtual reality experiences."
 
Advance tickets are $11 for adults, $8 for students K-12 and free for children 5 and under, and are available through May 4 at FestivalofNations.com or in person at the International Institute of Minnesota. Advance tickets are also available for purchase with a credit card by calling the International Institute of Minnesota at 651-647-0191 ext. 300. During the event, tickets are available at the RiverCentre Box Office for $13.50 for adults, $8 for students K-12 and free for children 5 and under. A World Pass, good for admission all days of the Festival, is a great value at $18 for adults and $12 for youth. NOTE: World Passes are only available in advance at the International Institute of Minnesota through May 4.
 
2017 HIGHLIGHTS
  • ENTERTAINMENT - Over 300 dancers and musicians will perform on three stages throughout the Festival.
     
  • CULTURAL EXHIBITS - Community members will showcase their distinctive cultures through 40+ special exhibits. Festival visitors can pick up a Festival of Nations Passport to be stamped at each stop. Attendees can witness a cheese run at a traditional Dutch Kaasmarkt, witness the traditions of an Indian wedding, and learn about traditional ceremonies celebrating the seasons in Denmark.
     
  • ETHNIC CAFÉS - Enjoy fare from all over the world at over 35 ethnic food cafés: from Palestinian falafel to Colombian tamales to Tibetan mo-mos and Norwegian lefse; Lebanese tabouli and Nigerian Moi-Moi (bean cake) to Vietnamese Banh mi (Vietnamese-style sandwiches). Proceeds from each café benefit local non-profit organizations.
     
  • ETHNIC DEMONSTRATIONS - Community members will showcase their distinctive cultures through interactive exhibits. These are fun and interactive activities for the whole family! Many folk artisans practicing crafts passed down through generations and interactive, educational demonstrations will be featured in over 30 booths.
     
  • INTERNATIONAL BAZAAR - Shopping from around the globe with booths representing nearly 70 countries, with imported gifts including clothing, jewelry and artifacts from many cultures.
     
  • STORY ARTS OF MINNESOTA (SAM) -
    Storytelling opportunities for ethnic storytellers to tell incredible stories from around the world.