Parade of Nations Sept. 20: Differences that Unite

By Marcia Goodrich | Published

Students from more than 70 countries attend Michigan Tech and will provide the backdrop for the 19th Annual Parade of Nations—a festival of music, food and ethnic pride.

"Weaving Cultural Harmony" is the theme of the 2008 event, scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 20, 2008.

"It's a celebration of differences that brings the community together," said Native American Outreach Coordinator Lori Muhlig, who is a coordinator of the event.

This year's program includes the traditional parade, ethnic fare and clothing, plus a Native-American performing group, Fast Horses. The Minnesota-based Lakota family, Fast Horses, has performed music and dance worldwide since 1998. The group also will present in area schools on Friday, Sept. 19, and after the parade at Dee Stadium.

The parade begins at the Hancock Middle School and ends at Dee Stadium on Houghton's waterfront, where there will be a diverse offering of handcrafts and tasty treats. This year, an activity tent along with free pony rides will be available for children.

The parade will feature community members and students from Michigan Tech and Finlandia University—all gathering to represent diverse heritages. The parade will include floats competing for prizes, local high school and middle school marching bands, and the Michigan Tech Pep Band.

"Parade of Nations emphasizes cultural uniqueness," said Muhlig. "At the same time, it teaches us what we, as human beings, have in common." Muhlig said on average, about 5,000 people attend the parade and festival annually.

For more information about the parade, visit or or contact Muhlig or Madeline Mercado Voelker, Hispanic/Latino outreach coordinator, at 487-2920.

For information about Fast Horses, visit

Michigan Technological University is a public research university, home to more than 7,000 students from 54 countries. Founded in 1885, the University offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science and technology, engineering, forestry, business and economics, health professions, humanities, mathematics, and social sciences. Our campus in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula overlooks the Keweenaw Waterway and is just a few miles from Lake Superior.