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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

FAQs and History

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What is the Mankato Area International Festival?

The Mankato Area International Festival is one of Minnesota's largest international events. The festival is a showcase for the foods, music, dance, and cultures of dozens of nations, all in one place on one day. Foods and performances are produced mainly by international students at Minnesota State University, Mankato, but other local and regional vendors, restaurants, and performance groups are also welcome and encouraged to participate. The event is a great opportunity for people from all over the state to gather, interact, learn, and celebrate! The festival is hosted by Minnesota State University, Mankato, the Kearney International Center, and the Centennial Student Union.

What can I expect from the Mankato Area International Festival?

Attendees can expect their senses to be bombarded with amazing smells, sights, and sounds from all over the world. Attendees should come with an excited and open attitude about experiencing different cultures, and interacting with individuals from those cultures. While much of the day is very fun and exciting, attendees should also expect to be educated. The ultimate goal of the festival is to provide an outlet for cross-cultural education and interaction. We hope you take the opportunity to have fun and enjoy yourself, but also to learn about places and traditions you did not know before. It truly is the best way to get a glimpse of dozens of nations from all over the world in one place on one day.

When is this year's festival?

The 2019 festival happens Sunday, April 7, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Where will the 2019 International Festival take place?

The festival will again be held on all three levels of the Centennial Student Union at Minnesota State University, Mankato. The CSU is the ideal venue, with Ostrander Auditorium and the Hearth Lounge for performances, open area for Children's World and cultural booths, two open dining areas for the dozens of available international foods, a silent auction in the Heritage Room, plus many more surprises all around the Student Union.

How do I get there? Is parking inconvenient or expensive?

Directions to the CSU are available here (link to By special arrangement with Facilities Services, free parking is available curbside next to the building and in the large sunken parking lot just outside the CSU entrance. A map showing these and other parking options is available here (link to PDF of map when available).

How much does it cost?

Parking and admission, including performances and activities, are all free! Foods and cultural items are available for sale at very reasonable prices, with inexpensive snack sizes of many foods available. This allows everyone to sample the foods of many different cultures without spending a lot (or eating too much!). Proceeds from student food and cultural booths help fund the groups' activities throughout the year. Proceeds from the silent auction help fund next year's festival.

Is the festival suitable for families with young children or teens?

Yes! The event is designed to appeal to all ages. Children's and Teens World, in the Ballroom, has fun games and activities from many different nations. Performances and other activities are family- appropriate. The CSU also has many places where families can sit and enjoy their food or just take a break from all the activity. Restrooms include changing stations, and all facilities are fully accessible.

Is the festival suitable for individuals with disabilities or special needs?

Yes! Again, the event is designed to appeal to everyone interested in attending. Minnesota State University, Mankato has easy access for those who may be less mobile, or need special equipment to aid with their mobility. Within the building there are numerous large capacity elevators to help attendees move throughout the building. For those who are sight or hearing impaired special accommodations can be made to make your experience most enjoyable. If arrangements need to be made, please contact the Office of Disability Services at 507-389-2825 or 800-627-3529 (MRS/TTY).

Where can I get more information?

There is also a Facebook page here. If you have other questions, please call the Kearney Center for International Student Services at 507-389-1281 or 800-627- 3529 (MRS/TTY).