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Fridley Public Schools
Two boys dance a Ukrainian Dance.

With a line out the door, Stevenson Elementary School’s annual Festival of Nations event drew more than 900 attendees. The popular event celebrates the rich cultures represented at Stevenson and the district. Students, families and community members waited up to 25 minutes to enter the school for the event, which took place on February 29.

The festival occupied the entire school building. Student performers of all grades sang and danced for a packed crowd throughout the evening in the gymnasium. The Cheremosh Ukrainian Dance Ensemble performed as well. 

Throughout the school’s hallways, tables representing different countries presented information, cultural items and food, giving attendees a glimpse into that country’s culture. Countries worldwide were represented from Brazil to Mexico, Germany to Afghanistan and Nigeria to the Philippines. Volunteers from those countries, or with connection to those countries, tended to the tables. Additionally, student artwork was displayed for all to see in the hallways. 

Other activities students participated in included getting henna tattoos, designing flags and stamping their passport at different spots within the school. 

“It is truly an event where you feel the love of our school community. Our students and our families shine,” reflected Veronica Mathison, principal of Stevenson Elementary. “The students' artwork, performances, and celebrations of their own culture and of others were absolutely beautiful.”