Annual Holiday Folk Fair features music, food and dancing

November 17, 2016


Submitted photo
Holiday Folk Fair International begins Friday and runs through Sunday at Wisconsin State Fair Park in West Allis.

Holiday Folk Fair International

n Hours: 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday.

n Admission: $10 in advance, family four-packs $36. At the gate: $12 for adults, $10 for seniors, $8 for children 6 to 12, those younger than 5 will be admitted for free.Those with a military ID card get in free.

n For information: or 414-225-6225.

WEST ALLIS - A variety of special events will be highlighted at the 73rd annual Holiday Folk Fair International, which runs Friday through Sunday at State Fair Park.

A program of the International Institute of Wisconsin, Holiday Folk Fair International celebrates the cultural heritage of the people living in southeastern Wisconsin.

This year’s theme, “Celebrate the Culture of Water,” will allow fairgoers the opportunity to learn the ways in which water and its symbolism are incorporated into the music, food, dance, arts, and crafts of Holiday Folk Fair.

Special attractions in 2016 include invited international performers and artisans, including the SchlitzerlŠnder Trachten- und Volkstanzkreis musical group from Schlitz, Germany, a World Heritage Japanese photographic exhibit, the Sisters Cities International 2016 Young Artist and Authors Showcase, The United States Department of State “Faces of Diplomacy” exhibit, the artisan corner sponsored by Debra Stefl and Katherine Kral, financial advisors with Morgan Stanley, the Kohl’s Color Wheels display, the Wisconsin Woodturners, and a bonsai exhibit.

The Holiday Folk Fair International’s annual “Cultural Awareness Program” on Friday, will give more than 3,000 fourth- through eighth-grade students and teachers an opportunity to personally experience global connections through ethnic displays, workshops, mini language and genealogy classes, exhibits and demonstrations, music and dance performances, storytelling, food sampling and a marketplace.

About 200 individuals will become American citizens in the Folk Fair’s annual Naturalization Ceremony at 2:30 p.m. Friday.

“Our basic work is immigration and refugee resettlement,” said Al Durtka, executive vice president of the International Institute of Wisconsin. “This is only three days a year. In terms of immigration we help individuazls get through the immigration process. We’re talking about immigrants who are documented.”

The 16th annual Around The World 5K Run/Walk benefitting The Salvation Army of Milwaukee County will be held at 9 a.m. Saturday.

The Wisconsin Scholastic Chess Federation will conduct a tournament on Saturday, with individual and team trophies presented in three classes.  

An interdenominational religious service that brings a variety of ethnic groups together will be held at 10:30 a.m. Sunday and is open to the public.

The three-day event features the All Nations Theater with traditional music and dance, the World CafŽ offering traditional dishes, the International Stage where young people perform their ethnic dances, the Tanzhauz  where attendees dance and sing along with a variety of musical stylings, the Coffee House where patrons enjoy a beverage and baked goods while listening to musicians, Heritage Lane, presented by Weather Tight Corporation, with unique traditions and customs through interactive exhibits, the International Bazaar, sponsored by Leaf Filter, where cultural artifacts create a unique shopping experience, and the Callen Construction Chef’s Stage featuring local chefs preparing traditional cuisine.