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SAINT PAUL, Minn. – Feb. 28, 2013 – Festival of Nations, Minnesota’s largest multi-cultural celebration, returns to Saint Paul RiverCentre Thursday, May 2 through Sunday, May 5. Thousands of students attend on Thursday and Friday, the public is invited Friday afternoon through Sunday. This year’s theme, Children, Our Past and Future, will be seen throughout the Festival and presented in over 60 exhibits. Tickets are $11 for adults and $8 for children ages 6 to 16 if purchased between April 2 and May 2. After May 2, tickets are available at the door for $13.50 for adults and $8 for children. A World Pass, good for admission all days of the Festival, is a great value at $15 for adults and $10 for youth. NOTE: The World Pass is only available in advance at the International Institute of Minnesota April 2 through May 2. Ride free to Festival of Nations on Saturday and Sunday with a “Go Greener Pass” for Metro Transit light-rail and buses (available for download beginning in mid-March) at FestivalOfNations.com.
New this year, Festival of Nations presents Think Global, Party Local on Friday night with extended hours, wine tastings, and a lineup of fresh music from international artists. The Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars (listen») make a rare Twin Cities visit as part of their international tour. Also on Friday night, the highly popular, Twin Cities-based salsa group Salsa del Soul will get people on the dance floor, and Rahim Alhaj (listen»), master of the Iraqi oud (a pear-shaped string instrument widely considered an ancestor of the guitar), returns by special request. Top the night off with some great international food and drink for a party that travels the world in one night. Friday’s festivities go until 10:30 p.m. and are included with paid admission to Festival of Nations.
During the three public days, Festival of Nations invites people of all ages to Think Global, Discover 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.
HIGHLIGHTS FOR 2013
® ENTERTAINMENT – A wide selection of live music and over 75 adult and children’s dance performances featuring brilliant costumes and choreography are part of the continuous entertainment all weekend long. New this year, a kickoff on Friday night with the Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars on the Roy Wilkins stage plus Rahim Alhaj, an Iraqi oud player, and the popular Twin Cities-based salsa dance troupe, Salsa del Soul will be performing in the Atrium.
® CULTURAL EXHIBITS – Community members will showcase their distinctive cultures through 60 special exhibits. Festival visitors can pick up a Festival of Nations Passport to be stamped at each stop. Look for new displays from the Congolese, Sudanese, and Haitians.
® ETHNIC CAFÉS – Enjoy fare served around the world at 37 ethnic food cafés. From Swiss chocolate fondue to Colombian tamales to Tibetan momo and Norwegian lefse. Proceeds from each café benefit a local non-profit organization.
® ETHNIC DEMONSTRATIONS – Community members will showcase their distinctive cultures through interactive exhibits. 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 60 different booths.
® INTERNATIONAL BAZAAR – Shopping from around the globe with booths representing 55 countries, with imported gifts including clothing, jewelry and artifacts from many cultures.
® THE WINE AND BEER TASTING EXPERIENCE – This popular tradition continues to grow as International Wine Tasting returns for its sixth year. Patrons can sample wines from around the world and visit with Festival of Nations wine experts. New this year, enjoy a variety of international beers as well.
THINK GLOBAL, PARTY LOCAL
Friday, May 3
Rahim Alhaj 5:30 to 6 p.m. and 8:30 to 9 p.m. RiverCentre Atrium stage
Salsa del Soul 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. RiverCentre Atrium stage
Sierra Leone’s Refuge All Stars 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. Roy Wilkins Auditorium
2013 FESTIVAL OF NATIONS
Thursday, May 2–Sunday, May 5, 2013
Thursday, May 2 – 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Friday, May 3 – 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
(Student tickets by reservation through the Festival of Nations office)
General Public Hours:
Friday, May 3 – 4 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.
Saturday, May 4 – 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Sunday, May 5 – 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
$11 Adults $8 Youth (6 to 16) in advance
$13.50 Adults, $8 Youth at the door
Ages 5 and under FREE with adult admission
For more information, visit FestivalofNations.com