Over 3,000 people from over 20 cultures will gather together on Sunday to celebrate their heritage.
The Festival of Nations, which runs from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Empire State Plaza Convention Center, is now in its 47th year.
According to Manoj Ajmera, the festival chairman, it’s more important than ever to hold the Festival of Nations.
“[There’s] more and more trouble in the world now. This is one event where people from different cultures can work together,” Ajmera said.
Plus, the Capital Region has gotten much more diverse since the first festival was held, said Ajmera, so there’s even more to celebrate.
There will be traditional food from around the world, as well as crafts and dancing. There will be representatives from the following nations: Argentina, Armenia, China, Colombia, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Greece, Haiti, Hungry, India, Israel, Italy, Korea, Liberia, Lithuania, Mexico, Nepal, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Puerto Rico, Russia, Scotland, Sweden, Taiwan, Turkey and Ukraine. These will be represented in the Parade of Nations.
Another important piece of the event is the crowning of the Miss Festival of Nations. Teens from around the Capital Region enter into the pageant, representing their traditional heritage. They dress in traditional attire and learn from their family members about their family and cultural history.
“Some people’s grandparents come from different countries and this is one way to get involved [in their heritage],” Ajmera said. There are several contestants from the Shenendehowa school district, among other local districts. The winner will be crowned at the festival on Sunday.
Tickets are $5. For more information visit festivalofnations.net.