For the seventh consecutive year, Missouri University of Science and Technology will host Celebration of Nations in collaboration with the city of Rolla, an event that gives local residents and students a chance to showcase and celebrate the cultural diversity that makes Rolla unique.
The event will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 24, with the Parade of Nations featuring approximately 80 national flags, themed floats, marching bands and more. The procession begins at the Missouri S&T campus, goes through downtown Rolla, and ends at the Rolla Band Shell, where an announcer welcomes each nation represented in the parade to the festival as its flag arrives. The best view of the parade is on Pine Street, in downtown Rolla.
This year’s parade marshal is Lt. Gen. Joe N. Ballard, a retired U.S. Army officer who served in the military for over 30 years and Chief of Engineers and Commander of the Army Corps of Engineers between 1996 and 2000. Ballard earned a master of science degree in engineering management from Missouri S&T in 1972.
After the parade, a festival including vendors, cultural exhibitions and activities will be held from noon to 4 p.m. at the Rolla Band Shell, located at 9th and Oak streets. Authentic international meals and drinks will be available for purchase. Attendance at the festival is free, but attendees are advised to bring their own seating.
The event, created in 2010 to celebrate the cultural diversity of the Rolla community, features opportunities to taste different international cuisines, create multicultural arts and crafts and soak up cultural entertainment. The popular camel rides will return to the festival as well. Other activities include a talent competition named Celebrate Talent and musical performances throughout the day.
Celebration of Nations is family friendly and offers plenty of activities for kids. Kids can have their facsimile passport stamped as they visit each international vendor booth. This document will be reviewed at the Passport Booth, and an International Ambassador certificate will be issued.
Celebration of Nations is presented by the international and cultural affairs office at Missouri S&T. The group thanks all businesses, the city of Rolla and all on-campus organizations that have sponsored Celebration of Nations.
For a complete schedule of events and a map of the parade route, visit nations.mst.edu. For more information on Celebration of Nations, contact Richie Myers, program coordinator for international and cultural affairs at firstname.lastname@example.org.