SAINT PAUL, Minn. - Festival of Nations returns to Saint Paul RiverCentre on Thursday, May 3 through Sunday, May 6. Thousands of attendees from all over the five-state region will experience Minnesota's largest multi-cultural celebration.
Festival of Nations invites people of all ages and backgrounds to explore the globe through members of our local communities. The Festival brings together people from a vast array of ethnic communities to celebrate their ethnic heritage, learn about other cultures and enjoy great food. Through engaging cultural exhibits, vibrant music and dance, personal connections, and culinary delights, Festival of Nations provides a look into the traditions, history and journey of nearly 100 ethnic groups, and sheds light on how each one contributes to the American cultural landscape.
The theme for 2018, which will be seen throughout the Festival, is Then and Now: Exploring Historical and Contemporary Cultural Traditions. Working with the Native American community, we are finalizing the details on bringing an authentic Pow Wow and Native Exhibition Dancing that will feature social and ceremonial dances. These presentations will also include a workshop, so attendees can learn from and interact with the different tribes.
Other 2018 activities include:
NATURALIZATION CEREMONIES: The Festival is honored to share that we will be hosting two Naturalization Ceremonies this year. Attendees will have the unique opportunity to witness the joy that comes with reciting the Oath of Allegiance and becoming an American citizen.
JAPANESE FAIRY TALE OPERA: Award winning St. Paul-based Japanese composer Asako Hirabayashi is partnering with Festival of Nations to present a version of her new opera Yuki Onna. Her opera, based on a traditional Japanese folk tale about a snow witch, has never been staged before, so this should be a wonderful adventure!
Advance tickets are $11 for adults (18+), $8 for students, and free for children 5 and under, and are available now until the Festival begins at festivalofnations.com/ticket, over the phone by calling the International Institute of Minnesota at 651-647-0191 Ext. 300, or in person at the International Institute of Minnesota. Advance tickets will also be available at select Lunds & Byerlys stores (Burnsville, Chanhassen, Eagan, Eden Prairie, Edina (France Ave.), Golden Valley, Maple Grove, Ridgedale, Roseville, St. Cloud, St. Louis Park and Woodbury) beginning April 1.
During the event, tickets are available at the RiverCentre Box Office for $13.50 for adults (18+), $8 for students, or free for children 5 and under. A World Pass, good for admission to 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 2.
ENTERTAINMENT - Over 300 dancers and musicians perform on three stages throughout the Festival - all free with festival admission. In addition to these performances, the 2018 Festival of Nations will also feature special guest performances to be announced next month.
CULTURAL EXHIBITS - Community members will showcase their distinctive cultures through 40+ special exhibits inspired by this year's theme of Now and Then: Exploring Historical and Contemporary Cultural Traditions. Visitors can pick up a Festival of Nations Passport to be stamped at each stop.
ETHNIC CAFÉS - Treat your taste buds with Halusky and surprise your palate with Kukhura Ko Masu. From Norwegian lefse to Thai noodles, the Festival's World Cafés feature more than 30 different ethnic food vendors. Proceeds from each café benefit local non-profit organizations.
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 30 booths.
INTERNATIONAL BAZAAR - Reminiscent of street markets around the world, the International Marketplace and Bazaar invites you to discover a diverse collection of ethnically-inspired crafts, toys, fabrics, clothing and more. With booths representing nearly 50 countries, the bazaar is designed to intrigue any global citizen.
The Festival is a program of the International Institute of Minnesota - the state's largest and only non-religious based refugee resettlement and immigration services agency. Celebrate world cultures and support the Institute's crucial work.
EVENT: Festival of Nations
DATE: Thursday, May 3 - Sunday, May 6, 2018
Thursday, May 3 - 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Friday, May 4 - 9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
(Student tickets by reservation through the Festival of Nations office.)
General Public Hours:
Friday, May 4 - 4:30 p.m. - 10 p.m.
Saturday, May 5 - 10 a.m. - 10 p.m.
Sunday, May 6 - 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
TICKETS: Advance: $11 Adults (18+), $8 Students; At the Door: $13.50 Adults (18+), $8 Students
Ages 5 and under free with adult admission.