March 21, 2023

ST. PAUL, Minn. (March 21, 2016) – Festival of Nations, Minnesota’s largest multi-cultural celebration, returns to Saint Paul RiverCentre Thursday, May 5 through Sunday, May 8. 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.

New this year, the festival will focus on Folklore and Fairytales from many cultures. Saturday morning will be filled with family-friendly programming including youth dance performances, storytellers, and puppet shows. Saturday night will feature programming that explores the darker side of folklore and fairytale.  Meet such characters as Krampus from Austria and the Abominable Snowman (Yetti) from Tibet and enjoy performances by Heart of the Beast puppet theater and other groups.

Advance tickets are $11 for adults (18+), $8 for students, and free for children 5 and under, and are available between April 1 and May 5 at the International Institute of Minnesota and at Lunds and Byerly’s Food Stores. During the event, tickets are available at the RiverCentre Box Office for $13.50 for adults (18+), $8 for student, tickets for children 5 and under are free. 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 April 1 through May 5.


ENTERTAINMENT – Over 300 dancers and musicians perform on three stages throughout the Festival; all free with festival admission.

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.

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. 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, including a Mongolian Yurt, a Viking Ship Replica, Indian Henna, and Italian Bocce Ball.

INTERNATIONAL BAZAAR – Shopping from around the globe with booths representing 68 countries, with imported gifts including clothing, jewelry and artifacts from many cultures.


The members of Formosa Circus Arts- FOCA come from different artistic worlds including: acrobatics, stunt, dance, or theater and combine all these arts to create a new style of performance, while keeping in mind to develop modern circus and actively promote Circus culture in Taiwan.  Since the beginning, FOCA has combined traditional and modern elements, dance and acrobatics, street culture and theatrical works. FOCA continually implements new concepts and pushes their creativity to develop a unique physical language and an original vision – exploring the relationship between the performers and the public.

Performance:  Friday, May 6 at 6 p.m. on the World Stage in Roy Wilkins Auditorium.


The Guthrie Theater will be hosting open performance and storytelling workshops throughout the Festival.

EVENT:                 2016 FESTIVAL OF NATIONS

DATES:                  Thursday, May 5 – Sunday, May 8, 2016 

HOURS:                  Student Hours:

                                Thursday, May 5, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

                                 Friday, May 6, 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

(Student tickets by reservation through the Festival of Nations office)

                                General Public Hours:

                                                Friday, May 6, 4:30 p.m. – 10 p.m.

                                                Saturday, May 7, 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.

                                                Sunday, May 8, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

ADMISSION:         Advance: $11 Adults (18+), $8 Students

                                At the Door: $13.50 Adults (18+), $8 Students

                Ages 5 and under FREE with adult admission

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