One campus. One Community. One world. That continues to be the theme of the ever popular Celebration of Nations event scheduled for this Saturday, Sept. 29 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in downtown Rolla.
Now in its third year, the Celebration of Nations was created to promote awareness, understanding and the celebration of the vibrant cultural diversity that makes Rolla unique to the Ozarks.
The event is primarily coordinated by the Office of International Affairs at Missouri University of Science and Technology, but receives critical input from international students at Missouri S&T, and other departments at the University, the campus, and the City of Rolla (including the Public Works Dept., Rolla PD, Rolla Fire & Rescue, Environmental Services Dept. and Administration).
The festivities for this unique event start at 11 a.m. with a colorful and festive parade that kicks off at the Havener Center on the Missouri University of Science and Technology campus. The parade winds through the Missouri S&T campus and downtown Rolla, and concludes on 9th Street at the downtown festival lot and bandshell where every country participating will be recognized much like the opening ceremonies of the Olympics. Downtown Rolla will be filled with floats, bands, camels, horses, donkeys and more colorful flags from more countries you may ever see in one place in the Missouri Ozarks. So if you like international festivals, culture, diversity, travel, great food, entertainment, education, and fun, you are sure to enjoy Celebration of Nations.
After the parade, a festival will be held in the downtown festival park that will include a variety of authentic crafts and international foods from around the world, calligraphy, face painting, sand art, children’s activities, inflatable bounce houses, a dunk tank, paper/wood fans for decorating, Origami, Calligraphy, Henna tattoos and an authentic tent from Saudi Arabia, complete with sand, camels, dates, and tea served by Missouri S&T students.
Another popular, educational and international aspect of the event are the passports that are given to all the children who attend, and stamped by international students who host booths that reflect the cultures and customs of their native countries. International Idol, which includes a wide spectrum of performances representing an international flair much like the American Idol competition seen on TV, is also a highlight of the festival.
The food offerings are reasonably priced (between $1 and $5) and this year you can once again experience an international and diverse menu that includes French crepes, spicy Indian food, Chinese food, Thai food, Taiwanese, Pakistani, Mexican, Columbian, African, American and so much more. There will also be American BBQ served up by Chartwells and Key Sports.
Also new to Celebration of Nations this year are camel rides ($5 each) and a ping pong tournament that is open to the public. So if you like international festivals, culture, diversity, travel, great food, entertainment, education, and fun, you are sure to enjoy Celebration of Nations.