Music and Dance in Abundance at Holiday Folk Fair International

Nov. 18, 2013

Entertainers that span the globe will play a major role in the 70th annual Holiday Folk Fair International, America’s premiere multi-cultural festival, to be held Fri., Nov. 22 – Sun., Nov. 24, 2013, at the Wisconsin Exposition Center at State Fair Park in West Allis, Wis.

The All Nations Theater will serve as the venue for the opening and closing ceremonies along with dancing by more than 25 ethnic groups, including representatives of groups representing the Bavaria, Bulgaria, Finland, Latvia, Mexico, Romania, Russia, Thailand, and Turkey.

The featured guest group for all three days in the All Nations Theater is Grupo Cultural Danza Maya Popol Vuh, which will present traditional Folkloric dance and music from the various cultural regions of Guatemala. The touring group of young adults, dedicated to the preservation of the Guatemalan Maya culture, is sponsored by ONG ASDECO Canton Chucam, Chichiscastenango, El Quiche, Guatemala.

The Music Pavilion will once again enable attendees to enjoy a variety of styles. Groups performing at this year’s event are the Talisman band, featuring traditional European folk music with a little rock and roll mixed in; the Bob Breuer Polka Band; the Elegant Gypsies, with a repertoire that includes ancient Celtic through modern Mediterranean music and timeless American standards, the Orkestar Sloboda, specializing in Serbian and Balkan music; Mid East Beat, and Prazna Flasa, featuring Balkan music.
In addition, a vast array of ethnic groups will perform in the Music Pavilion throughout Folk Fair, including Czech, Filipino, Irish, Norwegian, Pomeranian, and Ukrainian.

The Young People’s Showcase, presented by The Salvation Army of Milwaukee County on Sun., Nov. 24 with performances at 11:15 a.m. and 12:45 a.m., will feature the dancing talent of 21 young ethnic group members, including African, Chinese, Greek, Italian, Polish, Serbian. Youth will also perform throughout the weekend on the International Stage, including those representing the Croatian, Donauschwaben, Filipino, Mexican, Slovak, and Ukrainian ethnic groups.

The Coffee House provides those in attendance the opportunity to enjoy a cup of coffee, espresso, or tea and baked goods, such as Italian biscotti or a Scottish scone, while listening to talented musicians from throughout the world. Acts scheduled to perform include Brian Bauman (American Folk), Christopher’s Legacy (Celtic), Garlic Mustard Pickers (Gaelic), Hawaiian Civic Club, Lekspel (Scandinavian), Peasants Abroad (Turkish fusion), Pommersche Spaldeel (Pomeranian), and Tuuletargad (Estonian).

A program of the International Institute of Wisconsin, Holiday Folk Fair International celebrates the cultural heritage of the people living in southeastern Wisconsin. This year’s theme, “Celebrate the Culture of Community,” will allow Fair-goers the opportunity to learn the ways in which music, food, dance, and art bring together people from different backgrounds.

Special attractions in 2013 include a 70th anniversary Holiday Folk Fair Retrospective featuring memorabilia from previous events, “The Power of Exchange” Sisters Cities international arts exhibit, the “Rights and Freedoms - There and Here” United Nations exhibit, the Wisconsin Woodturners, the Milwaukee Sokol cultural exhibit, the Kohl’s Color Wheel mobile art display, and a bonsai exhibit.

The three-day event features the World Café offering traditional dishes, Heritage Lane with unique traditions and customs through interactive exhibits, the International Bazaar where cultural artifacts create a unique shopping experience, and the Callen Construction Chef Demonstration Stage, presented by Edible Milwaukee, featuring local chefs preparing traditional cuisine.

Holiday Folk Fair International will also host the “Around the World” 5K Run/Walk benefitting The Salvation Army of Milwaukee County on Sun., Nov. 24 at 9:00 a.m.

Hours on Nov. 22 are 2 p.m. – 10 p.m.; 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. on Nov. 23; and 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. on Nov. 24. Advance tickets will be sold for $10 each, with family four-packs for $36, and available for purchase on-line at

Admission at the gate will be $12 for adults; $8 for children ages 6 to 12; children under the age of five will be admitted at no charge. Those 62 and over will be admitted for $10, and all military personnel with a military ID card will be admitted free. Those that bring at least two non-perishable food items for The Salvation Army of Milwaukee County will get a $2 discount per ticket on up to four regular adult admissions.

For more information on the 2013 Holiday Folk Fair International, visit or call the International Institute of Wisconsin at 414-225-6220.

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