Wednesday, September 11, 2013

2013 Parade of Nations: the World comes to the Keweenaw

By Jenn Donovan, Michigan Tech Director of Public Relations
With Keweenaw Now's photos and videos from the 2012 Parade of Nations

Participants from many countries walk from Hancock to Houghton across the Portage Lift Bridge during the 2012 Parade of Nations. (Photos by Keweenaw Now)

HOUGHTON, HANCOCK -- Looking for an out of the ordinary Saturday in the beautiful Keweenaw? This Saturday, Sept. 14, is the annual Parade of Nations and Multicultural Festival -- a celebration of diversity in the Keweenaw.

At left in colorful attire are Nancy and Dianne Sprague, parade marshals during the 2012 Parade of Nations. This year the Parade Marshal will be Houghton City Manager Scott MacInnes.

"With all that is happening in the world today, I love that our community can set aside a day to celebrate peace and reflect on what difference and variation really means to us in Houghton and our sister city, Hancock," said Thy Yang, director of international programs and services at Michigan Technological University.

The Parade -- featuring floats and flags representing more than 60 nations -- starts at 11 a.m. on Quincy Street in downtown Hancock, crosses the Portage Lift Bridge and moves east on Shelden Avenue through downtown Houghton, ending at the Dee Stadium.

The Michigan Tech Huskies Pep Band leads the 2012 Parade of Nations down Quincy Street in Hancock. (Videos by Keweenaw Now)

Calumet High School Spanish Club members, with their teacher, Cindy Miller, fourth from left, pause for a photo on the Portage Lift Bridge during the 2012 parade.

At the Dee, beginning at noon and continuing until about 3 p.m., a multicultural festival features ethnic food booths, crafts and hours of entertainment, including international music and dancing.

Performances on stage at the Dee this year will include a Kung Fu demonstration by the Chinese Students and Scholars Association, the Copper Country Cloggers, the Kivajat Finnish Dancers, dance and music by the Indian Students Association, the Michigan Tech Dance Team, singer Karen Colbert and singer/songwriter Jan Arnold.

Following the 2012 Parade of Nations, a large, diverse crowd enjoys the opportunity to taste a variety of international foods during the multicultural festival in Dee Stadium.

Entrance to the festival is free. Food booths will sell cuisine from 16 countries, including Moroccan and -- for the first time -- Turkish food.

Anna Leppanen, left, with a friend and Anna's daughter, Maisa, join Meghan Pachmayer, right, in serving Finnish treats from their food booth during the 2012 Parade of Nations multicultural festival.

Bring your appetite! Try tasty international food from dozens of food booths offering delicious ethnic specialties, desserts and more. The entertainment is endless. Enjoy bands, singing, dances, and, for the children, free pony rides, face painting and supervised arts and crafts.

Kicking off the entertainment at the 2012 multicultural festival, the Copper Country Cloggers perform a lively Western-style dance.

Members of the Indian Students Association combine traditional dress and modern dance rhythms in one of their dances performed during the 2012 festival.

This year's Parade of Nations theme is "Global Variation in One Location." The parade and multicultural festival are free and open to the public. Parade of Nations is organized and supported by Michigan Tech, Finlandia University, the cities of Houghton and Hancock, and businesses and organizations throughout the Keweenaw.

More photos from the 2012 Parade of Nations ...

Participants from many countries, with their flags and banners, prepare to line up in Hancock just before the Parade begins. The order of countries in the parade is alphabetical.

An Iranian family heads across the Portage Lift Bridge with their flag, followed by participants carrying the flag of Israel.

Finlandia University students with the Finnish flag cross the Portage Lift Bridge.

At the judges' table, Jenn Donovan, Michigan Tech director of public relations, center, and Glenn Anderson, Hancock city manager, enjoy their view of the 2012 Parade.

Student cooks are proud of their national dishes!

Face painting is a favorite activity for kids during the multicultural festival.

The Kivajat children's dance group perform a lively Finnish sword dance, leaping over sticks.

Children's art, on display in Dee Stadium, reflects consciousness of ethnic ancestry. Children's art will again be on display in the Dee this year.

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