Monday, November 19, 2012

Annual Weekend of Culture: Holiday International Folk Fair

This weekend, I went with a friend to Milwaukee's Holiday International Folk Fair, a yearly event that, along with the Milwaukee Christmas Parade, unofficially kicks off the holiday season in our city.  This fair has been going on for as long as I can remember, and my mom and I used to go every year when I was young, first when it was in Downtown Milwaukee, and then in it's current home at Wisconsin State Fair Park on the west side.

The fair includes a marketplace where you can buy small gift items from all sorts of different countries.  But one reason people love this fair is because of the food.  There are vendors from every country you can think of selling foods of their homeland.  Every year (again, ever since I was young) my one must-get has been the Baklava.  If you don't know what baklava is, it is 6 layers (sometimes more) of filo dough with honey and nuts inside.  It is sinful, but since I lost another pound last week, I could indulge.

The photo below is foods of my main heritage country, Ireland.

Every year, many of the countries represented at the fair put up special booths to highlight aspects of their heritage.  Mexico featured its clothing and music:

Romania focused on folk telling:

And Italy highlighted it's most famous wooden boy, Pinocchio:

And of course, our country was represented, but along with a reenactment of the Revolutionary War, there were many stations dedicated to the Native Americans.

One more highlight of the Holiday International Folk Fair is the performances.  There are 3 stages where dancers from many different countries perform throughout the day.  There is also a separate stage where goers enjoy coffee drinks and listen to international music.

Needless to say, this is where I took most of my photos. 

The Holiday International Folk Fair goes on every year the weekend before Thanksgiving. 

Also, another round of Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday starts this week.  This is my "A" entry.  To see more, please click here.


  1. This looks like so much fun! I love Italy doing a Pinnochio theme. I wouldn't have guessed that!

    Who knew..?


    1. Thanks, Lanaya! One of Milwaukee's nicknames is "City of Festivals" because of all the ethnic festivals we have in the summer. It's nice that they do something like this too before winter sets in.

  2. That looks like such a wonderful festival! I would love to have something like that around here.

  3. How fun! It looks like a great place to spend a day, just walking and taking photos...

  4. Looks like a wonderful and enjoyable time! :)

  5. What an amazing and fun event!

    I always enjoy baklava with a cup of strong coffee! Those flakey layers are just sinfully yummy!

    Thanks for letting us tag along on your outing!

    And thanks for linking this week to the letter A.


    1. Thanks, as always, for hosting "Alphabe-Thursday", Jenny!