Thank you to all the teachers, students, and schools who participated in the 2016 Festival of Nations. It was a huge success and we thoroughly enjoyed entertaining, educating, and engaging with each and every one of you. We are again holding the 2017 Festival of Nations between May 4th and 7th and heartily welcome everyone back to spread the same joy as last year.
2017 School Group Hours:
- Thursday, May 4th: 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
- Friday, May 5th: 9:30 AM – 4:30 PM
Please note that while April 28, 2017 is the deadline for ordering tickets, any tickets ordered after Friday, April 21 will incur a $20 overnight postage fee! Each ticket includes access to all areas of the event.
Adults* (18+): $11.00
*If order is completed by April 7, 2017, schools will receive one (1) complimentary adult ticket per every 20 student tickets.
Passports (optional): $1
2017 Festival Activities for Schools
Mini Language Lessons
We are pleased to have Concordia Language Villages as our mini language lesson sponsor again this year! The mini language lessons will take place all four days in the Exhibit Area. Click here for the 2017 schedule.. Past languages have included Spanish, Portuguese, French, Chinese, Japanese, Finnish, Norwegian, and German. Each language class will count toward .5 hours of Teacher CEU’s.
Exhibit Area Passport
Passports can be purchased in advance from the Festival of Nations office or at the Festival Information Booth for $1.00 each. Visiting the different Cultural Exhibit booths will get you a unique passport stamp from each of the exhibitors– some of the exhibitors will even write your name in their language! Participating teachers can bring their completed passports to the Student Activity booth to receive the Teacher License Renewal Certification. The passport activity itself will count toward 1 hour of Teacher CEU’s.
Green Card Voices
Green Card Voices was designed for individuals to learn more about life stories of first-generation immigrants and to address commonly held stereotypes. Additional Green Card Voices materials are available online. This activity will count toward 2 hours of Teacher CEU’s.
Continuing Education Units
The Festival of Nations is proud to offer teachers from Minnesota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin the opportunity to receive up to six hours of time toward the renewal of their teaching license. Each individual school district re-licensure committee will vary, so please check with your committee as to which activities and hours would be accepted and how to go about submitting the necessary materials. Relevant CEU materials are available at the Student Activity Booth located in the Kellogg Lobby of the St. Paul RiverCentre.
Festival of Nations Curricular Materials
Use the links below to access the supplementary curricular materials. Certain materials will also be available at the Student Activity Booth located in the Kellogg Lobby. Several of the activities count towards 1 hour of Teacher CEU’s
Folklore & Fairytales
- 2017 Festival Scavenger Hunt
- Students can submit the completed Scavender Hunt to the Student Activities Booth to be entered into a drawing, or obtain their answers to use later in class discussions. Students should feel free to fill in the back of the sheet with any information they gather on the historical, cultural, or social importance the different items.
- Compare and Contrast
- Explore the Festival of Nations by taking a closer look at what stories mean to different cultures. You can use this worksheet to compare and contrast two different stories from the same ethnic group, or to examine similar stories from two different ethnic groups. Describe or draw the similarities and differences by looking at characters, setting, historical or religious influences, and story arc.
- Branches of Government
- Use this worksheet to review the three branches of the United States government.
- Benefits of Becoming a U.S. Citizen
- This list provides some of the benefits you receive once you become a U.S. citizen.
- Eligibility & Document Checklist
- Learn about the requirements for becoming a U.S. citizen.
- Naturalization Mock Interview & Test
- See if you and your students can answer the questions asked during citizenship interviews.
- Naturalization Application
- This is the initial application required to apply for U.S. citizenship.
- Ethnic Groups without Borders
- There are many ethnic groups around the world that do not have officially-recognized countries or borders. In some cases a group’s nomadic lifestyle may cause them to exist in several neighboring countries simultaneously or depending on the season, while other groups may constitute one of several different ethnic minorities within a particular nation. This activity allows students to explore different ethnic groups without borders in order to learn more about their unique cultural products, practices, and perspectives.
- Multi Cultural Exploration
- This activity has been designed for the students to further their knowledge about a country of their choosing. This activity can also be transferred to the classroom after the students have experienced the Festival. Students can work independently or in partners on this activity. To enhance the learning experience, students can research their country at school or at home prior to the Festival. Using the KWL Chart is a good way to get started.
School Ticket FAQ
Can we reserve tickets ahead of time using a purchase order?
The only way your tickets are reserved is if we have received payment for them. You can pay using a check, money order, or Visa/Mastercard. Please do NOT mail or fax incomplete order forms or orders lacking payment. Incomplete order forms received will not be kept, and will not reserve a spot for your group. Please request a check from your school well ahead of time.
What is the deadline for ordering tickets?
FRIDAY, APRIL 28th
Please note that tickets ordered after Friday, April 21st will incur a $20 overnight postage fee!
Does the Festival of Nations offer financial assistance to school groups?
At this time, the Festival does not offer financial assistance to school groups. However, we can recommend the Target Field Trip Grant program, which awards $700 to recipients. The submission period is open from August–October.
I need more tickets than I originally ordered. Can I purchase more tickets at the door?
Yes, although only for a few additional students.
Once the Festival begins, only the RiverCentre Box Office in the Kellogg Lobby will be able to handle or accept ticket inquiries and payments. Students will still be $8.00, but adults will be $13.50 on the day of the event.
Can we buy tickets for the whole group at the door?
No, all school orders which require a bus for transportation to and from the Festival MUST order their tickets in advance. We mail out signs for the bus windows, with pick-up and drop-off times, and decide which entrance you will be dropped off at. The St. Paul Police direct all traffic entering the streets surrounding the Festival of Nations, and buses without signs will not be allowed to pass through.
What if I ordered more tickets than I have students who can attend?
Refunds are available through April 7th, 2017, less a 15% handling fee. We urge teachers to order fewer rather than more tickets since additional $8.00 student tickets can be purchased at the RiverCentre Box Office located in the Kellogg lobby on the day of the event. No refunds will be issued past April 7th.
Can my students bring bagged lunches if they wish to do so?
Keep in mind however that there will be no centralized location to store bagged lunches.
Is food included in the ticket price?
Ticket prices include entrance to all areas of the Festival, but any food or merchandise must be purchased separately.
How much money should I recommend my students bring?
We recommend that students bring $5-$10 for food as this will allow them to sample items from the different Cafés. Items in the Bazaar vary in price from $2 to $50.
Where do our buses park once our group has been dropped off?
There is an off lot listed on your bus information sheet. Buses can also park for free at the International Institute of Minnesota although there is no shuttle service to the Festival from this lot. If bus drivers declare themselves at the Teacher Information Booth in the Kellogg Lobby, they will receive a complimentary ticket into the Festival.
Are wheelchairs available for rental?
The RiverCentre Box Office has a number of wheelchairs available for rent on a first-come, first-served basis. There is no cost to rent them, but a photo ID must be left at the box office until the wheelchair is returned.
Can students bring backpacks and bottled water?
Students are allowed to bring anything they need as long as they can carry it.
What are “Passports”?
They are a mock version of the real thing, with blank spaces inside. Each educational Exhibit has its own stamp pertaining to the ethnic group it represents. When a student visits this exhibit, they can get their Passport stamped, showing that they were there and can take it home as a souvenir. They are available in advance or at the Festival for $1.00 each.
For information regarding school and group orders, curriculum or recertification, please contact the Education Outreach Coordinator at 651-647-0191 Ext: 306, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Group orders must be received by April 3rd, 2017.
Looking for a unique outing? The Festival of Nations is one of the Midwest’s largest and longest-running cultural festivals and offers the perfect tour opportunity for social groups, international tours, or corporate gatherings. It has been selected by Discover America as one of the Top 200 Events in America and as one of the American Bus Association’s top 100 Events.
Advance group reservations of 15 or more are required for all groups. Tour groups of 40 or more will receive complimentary tickets for their tour leader(s) and bus driver(s). Please visit the City of St. Paul’s website for suitable parking lots and prices. There is no designated spot for tour bus parking!
Each ticket includes access to all areas of the event. Items sold in the Café and Bazaar areas must be purchased separately.
Adults (18+): $10.00
Kids 5 and under: FREE when accompanied by paying adult
Refunds are available until April 7, 2017, minus a 15% handling fee. All tickets must be returned to the Festival of Nations office by April 7, 2017, in order for a refund to be issued. There will be no refunds issued after this date!
Saint Paul Attractions
Saint Paul RiverCentre is located within walking distance of the Science Museum of Minnesota, the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, the Children’s Museum, the Minnesota History Center, the Landmark Center, and the Excel Energy Center. For more information, and to learn about possible offers, please inquire with Visit Saint Paul at 651-265-4900 or email@example.com.
For more information, contact the Festival of Nations Office at 651-647-0191 Ext. 306