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Minnesota State University, Mankato
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April 10: 2016 Mankato Area International Festival

"Discover the World in Mankato" is this year's theme for free community event.

Minnesota State University, Mankato Media Relations Office News Release, 4-5-2016

Mankato, Minn. – Tom Gjersvig, former director of International Student and Scholar Services at Minnesota State University, Mankato, will lead the opening flag procession at the 40th anniversary of the Mankato Area International Festival on Sunday, April 10, in the University’s Centennial Student Union.

“Discover the World in Mankato” is the theme for this year’s festival, scheduled from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission, parking and entertainment are free.

Gjersvig was selected as this year’s parade marshal for his dedicated years of service to the region’s international community. Gjersvig played a key role in the continuing growth of the University’s international enrollment and the success of Mankato’s annual international festival.

As this year’s parade marshal, he will lead a procession of international flags, most carried by Minnesota State Mankato international students. The University currently has about 1,100 international students representing more than 90 countries.

The day’s festivities will continue with live global entertainment on three stages featuring international students along with professional musical groups. Guests may also sample foods from various countries offered at commercial and student organization food booths.

Other activities throughout the afternoon include a Children’s World, a silent auction and an International Bazaar with traditional cultural items from many nations.

This year’s entertainment features festival favorite Greg Herriges, a guitarist, bouzoukist and vocalist who offers an eclectic mix of “whirled music” honed from his studies of Asian and other international styles. Fellow guitarist Peter Kavula of Minneapolis will perform Italian and American music with a jazz flair.

Other performers include Mexican Folklore Dancers from Southern Minnesota; YIYUSA, an elegant Asian dance theatre troupe; and Lester Cherryhomes, an Irish/Scottish music group.

International student entertainment throughout the festival will feature performances from Pakistan, South Korea, Nepal, Japan, Ukraine, India and Sri Lanka.

Festival guests may purchase food samplings that include Hmong, Nepali, Pakistani, Japanese, Sri Lankan, Indian and South Korean cuisines. Local vendors at the festival include Charlie’s Restaurant.

The Mankato Area International Festival is supported through a grant from the Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council from funds appropriated by the Minnesota State Legislature.

Free parking is available next to the Centennial Student Union, in the large parking lot directly in front of the student union’s main south entrance, and at several other designated campus parking lots.

For more information, visit the festival website at or call the Kearney International Center at 507-389-1281.

Minnesota State Mankato, a comprehensive university with 15,193 students, is part of the Minnesota State Colleges & Universities system, which comprises 31 state institutions.

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