Culture Corner: Midwest Hmong International Freedom Festival
Written by Katrina Lee, WISE Intern
When: Saturday, July 6th; Sunday, July 7th
Where: McMurray Fields, 1151 Wynne Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55103
Cost: General $7; Seniors 65+ and children under 42 inches are free
Each summer, the Hmong community gathers to put on the largest Midwest Hmong International Freedom Festival, also known as July 4th. This year marks the event as the 39th annual Hmong International Freedom Festival which will be held on the first weekend of July, Saturday, July 6th and Sunday, July 7th. While the Hmong New Year in November celebrates the end of the harvest year, the Freedom Festival is a chance for the Hmong community to display talents in sports, in addition to music, arts, and food. Thousands of Hmong across the nation and world gather together to celebrate and enjoy the many activities and attractions the event offers.
There are plenty of things to do and see at the event. Sports tournaments will be held for soccer, football, volleyball, and traditional Southeast Asian sports, such as tujlub/top spin and sepak takraw — aka kick volleyball where players have to hit the ball over a net without using their hands. Winners will take home a trophy and/or money as their prize for their hard-earned work from over the long weekend. There will also be attractions and entertainment, such as stage dances, song performances, and a beer garden. Not only that, merchandise booths offers many items for sale that include Ethnic Asian clothes, Hmong films, gifts, art, crafts, and more. Last but not least, food will also be available at the food booths section. There are many options to choose from such as Southeast Asian cuisine, Asian BBQ, exotic fruits, boba tea, and ice cream to help cool you down from the heat.
The Freedom Festival is a great occasion to participate in the Hmong culture, sample Hmong food (a blend of Vietnamese, Lao, and Thai cuisine) as well as enjoy Hmong music and entertainment. Come and join the excitement!
Learn more by following the links below: