Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Parade of Nations celebrates its 25th anniversary

With flags and signs representing many countries, Parade of Nations participants gather on Quincy Green in Hancock before lining up for the 2013 Parade. (Photos by Keweenaw Now

By Jennifer Donovan, Michigan Tech Director of News and Media Relations
Posted on Michigan Tech News
Reprinted in part with permission

HOUGHTON -- This week marks the 25th anniversary of the Parade of Nations, the popular parade and multicultural festival that has become a harbinger of fall in the Copper Country. The theme -- fittingly -- is Around the World in 25 Years: A Silver Jubilee.

The parade itself and the multicultural festival that follows it in the Dee Stadium are scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 13. But those colorful events -- and a dramatic Step Afrika performance that night at the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts -- are just the finale to a week of Parade of Nations Silver Jubilee celebration.

Michigan Tech's Pep Band opens the 2013 Parade of Nations in Hancock. (Videos by Keweenaw Now)

At 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 10, Parade of Nations founder Betty Chavis will present the history of the event at a free public program at the Portage Lake District Library. Several international students from Michigan Technological University will participate as well, talking about their countries, their cultures and their impressions of the Keweenaw.*

On Friday, Sept. 12, at Michigan Tech, Arun Gandhi -- the grandson of the legendary Mahatma Gandhi -- will discuss the lessons he has learned from his grandfather. The program begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Rozsa Center. It is free and open to the public.

Representing several countries, international students and community members cross the Portage Lift Bridge from Hancock to Houghton. Chinese students carry their traditional dragon.

The Parade of Nations from Hancock to the Dee Stadium in Houghton will begin at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 13. The queen of the 2014 Alpenfest in Gaylord, Lauren Bushong, will march in the parade, carrying the Swiss flag.

From noon to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 13, in Dee Stadium, Houghton the Multicultural Festival will feature nearly 30 international food booths, crafts booths and entertainment.

A large crowd fills Dee Stadium for the 2013 Parade of Nations Multicultural Festival.

International alumni of Michigan Tech have been invited to attend the first-ever international alumni homecoming. Finlandia University, Northern Michigan University and other regional institutions of higher learning have been asked to participate by inviting their international student community to attend as well.

Baraga and L’Anse Elementary Schools will each receive a $200 art grant for their students to make internationally themed posters.

Their posters will be displayed at the Dee Stadium during the Multicultural Festival on Saturday, Sept. 13.

The headline act, Step Afrika! -- a percussion dance troupe that involves the audience in their heart-pounding performance -- will perform at the Rozsa Center for the Performing arts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are on sale at Rozsa Center. Step Afrika! will give a free mini-performance at the Multicultural Festival Saturday afternoon at the Dee.

University and community organizations have been building floats for the Saturday morning parade. Prize money totaling $500 will be awarded for the winning floats.

For more information on Step Afrika, see

* Editor's Notes: Click here to read more about this presentation at Portage Library TONIGHT, Sept. 10.

Click here for the entertainment schedule.

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