Parade of Nations will be a Rollerskating Extravaganza

Plans for this year’s Parade of Nations are rolling right along. The headline act this year is Breaksk8, a professional jam-skating team that likes to push the limits of what can be done with wheels under your shoes.

They have toured the world and appeared in films. Breaksk8 will skate in the parade on Saturday, Sept. 17 and put on a colorful show at the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts on the Michigan Technological University campus later that evening.

Roller Derby

The Keweenaw Roller Girls (KRG) will also skate in the parade. On Wednesday, Sept. 14—three days before the parade—the KRG will host an Open Skate for the community at the Houghton County Arena, 1500 Birch Street, Hancock, Michigan. Admission is free, and the event is open to all ages and abilities. Participants need to bring their own skates.

The KRG website describes roller derby as a fast-paced, full-contact sport that takes place entirely on quad roller skates. It is primarily played by women.

A roller derby bout consists of two 30-minute periods. Each period is divided into shifts, or "jams," which can last up to two minutes each. Players skate counter-clockwise in a "pack." The pack is defined as the largest group of skaters from each team who are skating within 10 feet of one another.

One skater on each team scores points by lapping the opposing players. The catch? Those opposing players are all trying to knock her down.

Passport to the World is the theme of the 2016 Parade of Nations. The 27th annual Parade of Nations is a celebration of the international heritage and flavor of our community.

Parade, Multicultural Festival

It kicks off with a parade from Hancock across the Portage Lift Bridge to the Dee Stadium in Houghton, with floats, bands and marchers in traditional dress carrying the flags of their countries. A cultural festival featuring food, crafts and entertainment of many nations will follow the parade.

Floats in the parade will compete for $500 in cash prizes. Anyone who brings an "I Love Parade of Nations" sign to the parade will be entered in a Chicago Weekend Family Getaway drawing for a prize package that includes airfare, hotel and entertainment.

Parade of Nations is sponsored by Michigan Technological University, Finlandia University, the cities of Houghton and Hancock, and a wide variety of local civic organizations and businesses. It is funded in part by the Keweenaw Community Foundation (KCF).

Michigan Technological University is a public research university founded in 1885 in Houghton, Michigan, and is home to more than 7,000 students from 55 countries around the world. Consistently ranked among the best universities in the country for return on investment, Michigan’s flagship technological university offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science and technology, engineering, computing, forestry, business and economics, health professions, humanities, mathematics, social sciences, and the arts. The rural campus is situated just miles from Lake Superior in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, offering year-round opportunities for outdoor adventure.