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A fun affair if you dare

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Greek dancers bring the community together to celebrate for different events throughout the year.

Greek dancers bring the community together to celebrate for different events throughout the year.

Photo by Kirsten Schmitt

Photo by Kirsten Schmitt

Greek dancers bring the community together to celebrate for different events throughout the year.

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The 74th annual Holiday Folk Fair International took place Nov. 17 – 19 in the State Fair Park Exposition Center in West Allis. The festival features food, fun and culture from around the world. Visitors could taste German, Japanese, Egyptian, and Ugandan food dishes, just to name a sampling of the cuisine the event featured. The All Nations Theater delighted guests with musical performances and dancing from Native American, Greek, Scottish, Mexican and African cultures.

Catherine Adedokun, reference and instruction librarian at the MATC downtown Milwaukee campus, volunteered her time for the 10th year in a row representing the Milwaukee African Women’s Association in the Heritage pavilion. The Milwaukee African Women’s Association was established in 2008 by African immigrant and refugee women living in Milwaukee from Sierra Leone, Senegal, Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon, Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sudan,  Somalia, Congo, Benin and the Central African Republic. Adedokun offered that her favorite part about participating in the International Folk Fair is, “Having a multicultural experience. I get to meet different people from different cultures.”

For more information on the Milwaukee African Women’s Association, visit www.milawa.org.

Students from the Milwaukee Job Corps program acted as delegates educating fairgoers on the Milwaukee Sister Cities Project. In an initiative spearheaded by Ald. Russel W. Stamper II, Milwaukee is a partner of Sister Cities International. As a part of the initiative, Milwaukee has identified the following global cities as sisters due to similarities in each city dealing with commerce, education, health and culture: Galway, Ireland; Zadar, Croatia; County of Bomet, Kenya; Tarime District, Tanzania; Medan, Indonesia; Daegu, South Korea; and uMhlathuze, South Africa. Vera Ford, community liaison with Milwaukee Job Corps, explained, “Representing and giving information on the Sister Cities gives students from the Job Corps program an important role in representing our city, educating our community, and providing valuable community service.”

For students and staff that missed this year’s folk fair, be sure to mark your calendars for next year. The 75th annual celebration is certain to bring the global community to our doorstep once again. For students looking for a cost effective way to participate, the festival has volunteer opportunities available that would allow students a community service opportunity and free admission to the fair. For more details on the festival, including admission prices, transportation, and volunteering next year, visit www.folkfair.org.

Photo by Kirsten Schmitt
Mid-eastern dancers welcome the guests with dance at the Holiday Folk Fair International.

Photo by Kirsten Schmitt
The Lithuanian dancers entertain the crowd with two fun dances in a row.

Photo by Kirsten Schmitt
Native Americans and guests join in a drum circle at the Holiday Folk Fair International.

Photo by Kirsten Schmitt
Two representatives from the Chinese cultural booth make signs for the language corner.

Photo by Kirsten Schmitt
Apinya Jordan represents Thailand at a cultural booth at the Holiday Folk Fair International.

Photo by Kirsten Schmitt
MATC Reference and Instruction Librarian Catherine Adedokun represents the African cultural booth.

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