ORGANIZERS OF THE SEVENTH ANNUAL international festival celebrating the cultural diversity of Faribault are looking for participants, help and donations for the Saturday, August 25 event.
Can you help?
And when I say “you,” I mean anyone, whether you live in or near Faribault or not.
Drive on down from the Cities; we’re only an hour from downtown Minneapolis. Or drive across town to set up a booth showcasing your culture at International Festival Faribault. Sell ethnic cuisine. Pedal your ethnic arts and crafts or other merchandise. Show and tell and educate the public about your culture in this event pegged as “neighbor meeting neighbor.”
I like that neighborly phrase, for it is when we meet face-to-face and engage in conversation and sample each others food and learn each others customs that the cultural barriers begin to fall and friendships (or at least understanding) form.
Table and booth space at the 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. festival are currently available to the public for a $20 fee. But get this: You keep all profits earned. Non-profit organizations get free space.
Now if that isn’t enough incentive to book a spot in Faribault’s Central Park for the day, consider how you will help advance the mission of the non-profit International Festival Faribault. Here’s the organization’s mission:
…to promote understanding between diverse cultures within Faribault, MN; uniting the community with music, dance, ethnic foods and merchandise which is experienced at a once a year festival organized by the committee.
Already, Spanish and Somali singers, a local dance academy and several small bands have committed to providing on-stage entertainment. A hula hooper and jugglers are signed on to wander through the crowd.
What can you contribute? Dancing, singing or other musical entertainment from your culture? On-site ethnic art/crafts demonstrations? Are you willing to sing your country’s National Anthem on the Central Park Bandshell stage? How about presenting a mini drama or storytelling focused on your ethnicity? Can you plan and lead ethnic activities for kids?
The group also needs volunteers to assist with set-up and clean-up, help throughout the day, etc.
Monetary and silent auction donations are also needed. Do you have a tent and/or tables the group can borrow? Can you help with banners or flyers? Donate food items?
Yes, the list of needs is lengthy. But remember the “neighbor” part of this festival? Neighbors help neighbors.
If you are interested in participating, contributing or helping in any way, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (507) 412-9139. You must complete an application form and submit the $20 payment in advance to reserve a booth/table space.
Finally, even if you’re unable to participate or donate, mark your calendar for 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Saturday, August 25, for the International Festival Faribault. Admission is free and I promise, you’ll come one step closer to understanding your neighbors.
© Copyright 2012 Audrey Kletscher Helbling