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Parade of Nations brings the world to Houghton

Between a pandemic and construction, Saturday’s Parade of Nations looked different than past iterations, but the same uplifting message still came across in spades. Lining up near the Keweenaw Chamber of Commerce office next to Franklin Square, Tech and Finlandia students hailing from dozens of countries around the world walked west to Kestner Waterfront Park.

Founder Betty Chavis says she borrowed the idea from a Minnesota festival over 30 years ago.

I was in Saint Paul with the international director at Michigan Tech at the same time, and we were there on a recruiting trip. We happened to have bought into this parade and I said, “You know, this would be a wonderful thing if we could bring this whole thing back to Houghton.

She talks about what lessons the Parade of Nations teaches students and the community.

To love another and we’re all basically the very same when you get right down to it.

Under normal circumstances, a cultural expo happens inside Dee Stadium where there is a food festival featuring native cuisine and entertainment. It is expected to return next year.

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