Preparations are under way for Rolla’s fourth annual Celebration of Nations, which will be held on Saturday, Sept. 28. Downtown Rolla comes alive for this area’s largest multicultural event, featuring live music and dance; ethnic foods, arts, crafts and displays; and plenty of fun for the kids!
Celebration of Nations gives area residents and Missouri S&T students a chance to showcase their heritage and celebrate the vibrant cultural diversity that makes Rolla unique to the Ozarks.
This year’s event will feature the lively sounds of Kansas City’s mariachi band The 3 Amigos and plenty of other music and free entertainment. Five-dollar camel rides will also be available and cameras are welcome.
The Parade of Nations will begin at 11 a.m. from the center of the Missouri University of Science and Technology campus. This year the route will go south on Rolla Street to 6th Street, east to Pine Street, north to 9th Street, then east to the Rolla Band Shell. The parade features international floats, marching bands, animals and colorful flags representing the more than 80 countries of origin of area residents and Missouri S&T students.
Looking for a unique holiday gift? The festival that follows the parade will include international arts and crafts, not to mention the delicious food from all over the world.
While you check out the authentic cultural displays, children can get their “passports” stamped by the countries’ representatives. Passports are being distributed at area schools and will be available at the festival’s Passport Booth. In addition to camel rides, children can enjoy face-painting, games and more.
Spectators are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets to watch the free performances at the band shell that typically begin at 12:15 p.m. and run until the festival ends at 4 p.m.The popular “International Idol” talent competition will begin around 1 p.m.; it’s an event you won’t want to miss! For more information go to the Missouri S&T’s Celebration of Nations website.
Written by Aimee Campbell, tourism director for the Rolla Area Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center.