Holiday Folk Fair International Announces Additional Entertainment, Attractions

Nov. 8, 2010

An entertainer making a return to the event and two new attractions will be part of the 67th annual Holiday Folk Fair International, America’s premiere multi-cultural festival, to be held Fri., Nov. 19 – Sun., Nov. 21, 2010, at the Wisconsin Exposition Center at State Fair Park in West Allis, Wis.

Performing for the second consecutive year in the Music Pavilion will be Native American flutist Darren Thompson of Ojibwe and Tohono O’odham heritage. A highly regarded musician who will perform all three days of the event, Thompson has performed in over 100 U.S. cities as a solo artist and has been said to have “the power to take you to another place.”

Thompson began mastering the Native American flute while studying at Marquette University, after receiving a traditional cedar flute as a gift while attending the Indian Summer Festival. In the past, Thompson has led protests and spoken out on issues such as stereotypes, social structures, environmental issues, history, and culture. His musical performances retain the philosophies by which he lives.

Thompson’s 2009 debut album, The Song of Flower, was inspired by his Anishnabe culture and homelands, the Lac du Flambeau Ojibwe Nation. It is a collection of his original compositions, expressing both past and present Native American flute music

Barbara Rothwell, owner of Concord Valley Gourds in Oregon, Wis., will conduct demonstrations on creating artwork and other functional pieces from gourds. Rothwell, who will also have her finished gourd artwork available for sale all three days of Folk Fair, will display and demonstrate a variety of her work, including musical gourds treasure boxes, containers, and animal gourds.

“From a simple seed to a fantastic artistic design, gourds can be used to contain treasures and things of beauty,” Rothwell said. “I will demonstrate and show a wide range of artistic transformations of a simple gourd into items of beauty with purpose, even if it's just to make you laugh.”

Folk Fair also announced that the Lionel Railroad Club of Milwaukee would display and provide an overview on some its model railroad cars during the run of the event.

Produced by 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 Peace,” will allow Fair-goers the opportunity to explore the ways in which music, food, dance, and art enhance racial, cultural, and ethnic cooperation.

Special attractions at this year’s event include the “Art Beyond Borders” and “Invisible in the City” photographic displays, the International Chess Academy, bonsai, and anime.

The three-day event features the All Nations Theater with traditional music and dance, the World Cafe offering traditional dishes, the International Stage where young people perform their ethnic dances, the Music Pavilion with a variety of musical styles, 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 Cooking Demonstration Stage featuring local chefs preparing traditional cuisine.

Holiday Folk Fair International will also host a United States Citizenship Naturalization Ceremony Sat., Nov. 20, at 10:30 a.m. and an “Around the World” 5K Run/Walk Sun., Nov. 21 at 9:00 a.m.

Hours on Fri., Nov. 19 are 3 p.m. – 10 p.m.; 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. on Sat., Nov. 20; and 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. on Sun., Nov. 21. Advance tickets will be sold for $8 each at Pick n’ Save locations throughout southeastern Wisconsin. Advance tickets for $8 each as well as family four-packs for $28 can be purchased on-line at

Admission at the gate will be $10 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 $8, and all military personnel with a military ID card will be admitted free.

For more information on the 2010 Holiday Folk Fair International, call the International Institute of Wisconsin at 414-225-6225 or visit

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