Festival of Nations – History

The Festival of Nations is a cultural festival held annually in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul, Minnesota. It is the largest multicultural festival in the Upper Midwest, and is attended by over 300,000 people each year.

The festival was founded in 1965 by a group of local residents who wanted to celebrate the diversity of the Twin Cities. The first festival was held in Loring Park in Minneapolis, and featured performances by ethnic groups from around the world. The festival has since grown to include over 100 cultural exhibits, food booths, and performances.

The Festival of Nations is a celebration of the Twin Cities’ rich cultural heritage. It is a time for people from all over the world to come together and share their traditions and cultures. The festival is also a fundraiser for the Festival of Nations Foundation, which supports cultural education and diversity programs in the Twin Cities.

The International Institute of Minnesota and the Festival of Nations, the Midwest’s oldest and longest running multicultural festival, announce with sadness the conclusion of this beloved event.

While the Institute remains steadfast in its commitment to celebrating Minnesota’s diverse cultures, it must prioritize its urgent day-to-day work of serving New Americans with their successful transition to a new community.

The International Institute’s annual Festival of Nations was the most diverse, oldest and longest running multicultural festival in the Midwest. Since 1932, its goal was to inspire people to discover more about our world and embrace the rich cultural diversity in our community. Nearly 100 ethnic groups came together for a unique, 4-day experience that celebrated cultural heritage through dancing, performances, exhibits, demonstrations and cuisine.

Here were some of the highlights of the Festival of Nations:

Cultural exhibits: The festival features over 100 cultural exhibits, each representing a different country or region of the world. Visitors can learn about the history, culture, and traditions of each country through displays of artifacts, clothing, and food.

Food booths: There are over 100 food booths at the festival, offering a variety of ethnic cuisine from around the world. Visitors can sample dishes from countries such as China, India, Mexico, and Ethiopia.

Performances: The festival features a variety of performances, including music, dance, and theater. Visitors can enjoy performances from traditional folk groups as well as contemporary artists.

Family activities: The festival offers a variety of family activities, such as face painting, games, and cultural workshops. Visitors can also enjoy a variety of children’s rides and attractions.

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