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Canceled: Festival of Nations

Festival of Nations

Dear Festival of Nations friends, supporters and participants,

For the first time in the 88 years that the International Institute of Minnesota has hosted the Festival of Nations, we are making the impossible decision to cancel the Festival. It is with a heavy heart that we inform you the 2020 Festival of Nations from April 30 to May 3 will not be rescheduled.

The International Institute of Minnesota and the Festival of Nations’ highest priority is the health and safety of you: our attendees, participants, volunteers, staff and community. The Institute will follow the recommendation of the Minnesota Department of Health to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and at this time, it is recommended events with 50 people or more do not convene. 

Gathering as a community has been a ritual of togetherness and a highlight of the year for many in the Festival community. We will miss the many ways that our communities come together and the ways we overlap and reinforce each other.

We know canceling the Festival will put significant strain on the finances and missions of many nonprofits and businesses, just as it will strain the finances and mission of the International Institute of Minnesota. However, we also know that it is the right decision for the community, and that together we can find alternative ways to celebrate and support one another.

What’s next?

We are already planning for 2021, and we need your help. As a nonprofit social service agency dedicated to empowering New Americans, we rely on the generosity of donors, attendees, community organizations and Festival vendors, especially at times like these. With this in mind, we ask that you consider the following options:

  1. Consider deferring your 2020 ticket to the 2021 Festival of Nations, April 29 to May 2, 2021.
  2. Donate the value of your ticket to support the year-round work of the International Institute of Minnesota. 
  3. Vendors: Consider donating your registration fees to support the mission of the International Institute of Minnesota and help New Americans who are working hard to build a better life. Or, opt to defer your 2020 registration fees to book your spot in the 2021 Festival of Nations, April 29 to May 2.
  4. Request a refund by emailing Aisling Reynolds at areynolds@iimn.org by April 30, 2020.

In addition, please also:

  • Support our ethnic communities directly online. You can check out links to their sites below.
  • Keep an eye on the Festival’s Facebook and Instagram accounts for videos featuring cooking demonstrations by the cafe chefs, dances from our World Stage groups, live demonstrations by the featured artists, and stories about the history of different ethnic groups in Minnesota.
  • Stay connected to the Institute’s work year-round by subscribing to our electronic newsletter.

Thank you for your support and understanding of this difficult decision. Your friendship and commitment means so much to us.

Please take good care of yourself, your family and your community. We look forward to seeing you in 2021.

With gratitude,

Aisling Reynolds
Events Manager
651-647-0191, ext. 309
areynolds@iimn.org


2020 Festival of Nations Café Vendors

Ethnic Community Restaurant/Café
African American West Indies Soul
Egyptian Pharaoh’s Gyros
Ethiopian ADS Catering
Greek Greek Festival
Lebanese Lebanese Festival
Somali Jamal Hashi
Thai Amazing Thailand
Vietnamese Asian Invasion

2020 Festival of Nations Bazaar Vendors

Ethnic Community Shop Name
Bulgarian Meffie Imports
Chinese Echo’s Healing Stones
Chippewa Bear-Hawk Indian Store
Finnish Irene’s Favorite Things
German German Specialty Imports
Irish Irish On Grand
Japanese Urban Traveler
Nepalese Optimum Design Tech
Pakistan Regal Blossom Boutique
Scottish Celtic Creations

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