From April 30 to May 3, more than 80 ethnic groups will take over the Saint Paul RiverCentre for Festival of Nations, Minnesota’s largest multicultural celebration and the longest running festival of its kind in the Midwest. For more than 80 years people have gathered to celebrate cultural heritage, learning about the history and traditions of many different ethnic groups, as well as giving them a platform for their stories. Wondering why you should visit this year? I’ll give you seven reasons:
- Ethnic food stands: There will be a total of 35, serving everything from Norwegian lefse to Thai noodles, plus beer and wine tastings for adults.
- Bazaar: Peruse through and take home a unique gift from one of 40 different cultures.
- Performances: More than 100 music and dance groups will perform nonstop across three stages throughout the entire festival.
- Demonstrations: Watch authentic artisans practice their crafts, ranging from Chinese calligraphy and Indian henna to Native American beadwork and Mexican piñatas.
- Exhibits: Pick up a “passport” and travel the world, learning about ethnic groups whose countries have official borders as well as those who do not.
- Activities: Be instructed in 10 different languages, witness as 50 immigrants become U.S. citizens, watch videos about new Americans, record your own immigration story, and more.
- Free travel: Ride to and from the festival for free by downloading this pass from Metro Transit.
Tickets: $11 adults, $8 ages 6-18, ages 5 and younger free in advance; $13.50 adults, $8 ages 6-18, ages 5 and younger free at the festival; $18 adults, $12 ages 6-18, ages 5 and younger free for a world pass good for every day of the festival, advance purchase only.