Parade of Nations Returns on September 22

By Jennifer Donovan | Published

Representatives of Thailand and Turkey march in last year's Parade of Nations.
Representatives of Thailand and Turkey march in last year's Parade of Nations.

Hundreds of international university students, faculty members and community residents from more than 60 countries call Houghton and Hancock home. They enrich this small, remote community out of all proportion to their numbers. So each year, Michigan Technological University, Finlandia University and local businesses join hands to celebrate this multicultural spirit at the Parade of Nations.

This year, the Parade of Nations is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 22.  Led by parade marshals Nancy Byers Sprague and Dianne Sprague, the parade begins at 11 a.m. on Quincy Street in downtown Hancock and features floats, Michigan Tech’s popular Pep Band and marching groups carrying the flags of countries all over the globe. 

The parade will cross the lift bridge and move east on Shelden Avenue through downtown Houghton, winding up at the Dee Stadium on the waterfront. A multicultural festival featuring international food and entertainment will be held at the Dee from noon to 4 p.m. Admission is free.

Last year more than 3,000 visitors watched the parade and went to the Dee to sample dishes from China, India, Thailand, Italy, Mexico, China, Japan, the Middle East, and of course, Finland, much of it prepared and sold by international students,

Entertainers on the program include the Copper Country Cloggers, the Michigan Tech Dance Team, the Medievalist Club and the Chinese Students and Scholars Association.  Mark Wilcox will emcee the show.  The sound system is being provided by Eagle Radio.

“We invite everyone to wear their native or ancestral costumes to the Parade of Nations, whether they plan to march or watch,” said Darnishia Slade, chair of the planning committee for the event.

The Parade of Nations is still seeking sponsors and participants, as well as volunteers.  Interested organizations, businesses and individuals should contact Slade at or go to the Parade of Nations website.

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.