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Dancing, Music, Ice Cream and Fun Highlight Minneapolis’ Sister Cities Day Celebration

Via a July 17 News Release from Meet Minneapolis:

Free, family-friendly event on Nicollet Island showcases the culture of Minneapolis’ 12 Sister Cities

Meet Minneapolis is pleased to announce a day of family fun and free, culturally inclusive entertainment and crafts at the 12th annual Sister Cities Day celebration at the Nicollet Island Pavilion on July 21, from 1-5 p.m. The day features musicians and performers representing a half dozen of Minneapolis’ 12 sister cities, as well as informational displays and crafts for people of all ages. In addition, complimentary make-your-own sundaes and other refreshments will be available while supplies last.

Set alongside the Mississippi River in one of the most beautiful parks in Minneapolis, the Sister Cities Day celebration will occur rain or shine. At 2 p.m., enjoy a special cake-cutting as Minneapolis marks 10 years of sister cityhood with Najaf, Iraq. This event is sponsored by Meet Minneapolis in partnership with its 12 sister city organizations.

“This annual, family-friendly celebration is one way for our city to continue fostering cultural awareness within our community,” said Meet Minneapolis President and CEO Melvin Tennant. “Through the Minneapolis Sister City’s program, we are also able to showcase our region and culture to other parts of the world and learn how different cities are leveraging their attributes for the economic benefit of their communities.”

Among this year’s performing groups:

  • Gilgamesh, representing Najaf, Iraq. Dancers will perform Chobi dancing, a modern circle dance. This dance is usually reserved for weddings. However, this year, it will help us celebrate the 10th anniversary with our sister city in Iraq.
  • Songs of Hope, a youth performing arts summer camp representing a dozen countries from around the world. Children from Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and the U.S. come together for six weeks of singing and performances. Their focus is spreading cultural unity wherever they go.
  • Harisen Daiko, Minnesota taiko drumming group representing Ibaraki City, Japan. Taiko drumming is an ancient Japanese form of percussion utilizing large drums and has been used for many purposes, including communication, military action, theatrical accompaniment and religious ceremonies.
  • Annelise Carlson and Liang Sorman, representing Harbin, China. These musicians will showcase traditional Chinese music playing instruments such as the guzheng, yangqin and the hulusi. The hulusi's origins can be traced back more than 2,000 years to the pre-Qin period.
  • Mexico Lindo, representing Cuernavaca, Mexico. Performers will showcase Ballet Folklorico, which is a mix of a traditional Mexican folk dance with ballet characteristics. Engaging and energetic, adults to the very young perform with precise choreography representing the unique cultures of Mexico.

The Minneapolis Sister Cities program was established in 1961 with the signing of the first Sister City agreement between Minneapolis and Santiago, Chile. Today, it includes: Winnipeg, Canada; Santiago, Chile; Harbin, China; Kuopio, Finland; Tours, France; Najaf, Iraq; Ibaraki City, Japan; Eldoret, Kenya; Cuernavaca, Mexico; Novosibirsk, Russia; Bosaso, Somalia; and Uppsala, Sweden.

Learn more about the Minneapolis Sister Cities program here.

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