Celebration of Nations was created to promote awareness, understanding and the celebration of the vibrant cultural diversity that makes Rolla unique to the Ozarks. Area residents and Missouri S&T students, with the help of great sponsors and full support of the City of Rolla, got together for the first Celebration of Nations on Oct. 9, 2010. This event was a huge success and this year’s “Celebration” promises to be even bigger and better.
With more than 800 international students from 80 countries attending Missouri S&T, Rolla’s international make-up has never been as evident as during this event that celebrates the diverse and rich cultures of our community’s international students, faculty and residents.
Celebration of Nations is as festive as it is unique, and if you didn’t get a chance to attend the event last year, you won’t want to miss it. It all starts with the Parade of Nations (over 80 countries represented) at the Havener Center on the Missouri University of Science and Technology campus at 11 a.m. The parade winds through downtown Rolla, and concludes on 9th Street at the downtown festival lot and bandshell where parade goers will be recognized much like the opening ceremonies of the Olympics. Downtown will be filled with floats, bands, camels, horses, and more flags from more countries you may ever see in once place. If you like festivals, culture, diversity, travel, great food, entertainment, education, and fun, you are sure to enjoy Celebration of Nations.
After the parade, a Celebration of Nations festival will be held in the downtown festival park that will include a variety authentic crafts and international foods from around the world, calligraphy, face painting, children’s activities, a petting zoo, inflatable games, horse rides, a mock Eifel tower, a genuine tent from Saudi Arabia, complete with sand, camels, dates, and tea served by Missouri S&T students. Children will be given passports that they can have stamped by international students who are hosting booths that reflect the cultures and customs of their native countries. Children will also have an opportunity to put their hand prints on a large 6-foot paper Mache ‘earth globe’ to reflect the Celebration of Nations theme of “One Campus. One Community. One World.”
International Idol, which includes a wide spectrum of performances representing an international flair much like the American Idol completion seen on TV, is also a highlight of the festival. This event alone is worth attending the Celebration of Nations as it attracts some of the best talent and entertainment in the Ozarks.
If you are interested in joining in the festivities by having a float in the parade, being a vendor/crafter at the festival or competing in the “International Idol” contest, please contact Stephane Menand in the Office of International Affairs at Missouri S&T at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.nations.mst.edu.
Have a safe week. And a safe school year!