A Long Celebrated Minnesota Festival Calls It Quits After a Jaw-Dropping 90 Years
The first year of the festival was in 1932. It was the Midwest's oldest and longest running multicultural festival. But after being cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID, the organizers have announced they have not been able to find a strong partner with whom they could reimagine the festival.
So it is with sadness that the the Festival of Nations announces that they are cancelling it permanently. From the festivals website:
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. Refugee services, immigration and citizenship support, education and workforce development are essential not only for newcomers, but they also benefit the wider community by building a stronger Minnesota.
They go on to explain:
The Festival was canceled in 2020 and 2021 due to public health restrictions and concerns for the well-being of attendees and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic. During this time, the global refugee crisis persisted at unprecedented levels, requiring the Institute’s undivided attention on delivering its primary services for refugees and immigrants.
The Institute spent the last two years carefully considering how we could proceed with the Festival. Options to reimagine the Festival included potential community partners, a new venue and other changes. As a strong partner did not emerge, it became evident that it would be impossible to sustain the event.
There is hope they can bring the Festival of Nations back, but only time will tell.