Eden Prairie’s annual PeopleFest! A Community Celebration of Culture launches tomorrow.
The week-long cultural extravaganza, running until Aug. 4, kicks off with the PeopleFest! Party at the Staring Lake Amphitheatre, 14800 Pioneer Trail, from 3 to 7 p.m. on Sunday, July 30.
“From the beginning, our main goal has been to create an event to make people feel welcome,” said Jay Lotthammer, the city’s parks and recreation director. “We also wanted to offer various performances and groups, providing them with a platform to showcase their traditions, be it through traditional games or artwork from their backgrounds. That’s something that people really value.”
Megan Yerks, the city’s community services coordinator, offered a preview of this year’s party, promising food trucks, performances, and exhibits showcasing the community’s diversity.
Food trucks from local businesses Mi Pueblo, Pizza Karma, Sambusa Express, and Waffle Bar Food Truck will be there.
Performances will feature Larry Yazzie from Native Pride Arts, Taraangini School of Dance and Mexico Azteca, as well as newcomers such as Makam Baklava, Duniya Drum and Dance, OMG Irish Dance and TaikoArts Midwest, Yerks said.
The plaza will be filled with exhibitors, including Theater Mu, Waalid MN, QUEERSPACE Collective, India Association of Minnesota, and many more (even the Eden Prairie Local News). In addition, guests can explore the new Eagle Express bus – Eden Prairie School’s innovative mobile classroom and outreach vehicle.
The Human Library returns, offering attendees the chance to hear unique stories from community members, to foster a deeper understanding, inclusivity, and empathy.
This year’s “Human Books” lineup features individuals who have lived through significant historical events, navigated diverse cultures, and overcome various personal and societal challenges. Highlights include a survivor of a World War II American prison camp for Japanese, an immigrant’s journey from rural India to becoming a CEO in Minnesota, and a former refugee’s experience of rebuilding life after escaping a brutal civil war.
Beyond the opening party, Yerks noted a week full of PeopleFest! activities.
Upcoming events at the Staring Lake Amphitheatre include performances by Ecuador Manta (Monday, July 31, at 7 p.m.), Heart and Soul Drumming (Tuesday, Aug. 1, from 10:30 to 11:15 a.m.), Salsa del Soul (Thursday, Aug. 3, from 7 to 8:30 p.m.), and a screening of the movie “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” (Friday, Aug. 4, with pre-entertainment starting at 7:30 p.m. and the film at 9 p.m.).
Eden Prairie Schools Community Education hosts events throughout the week, including preshow entertainment before the Aug. 3 Salsa del Soul performance. That features children’s author Habso Mohamud reading from her books “It Only Takes One Yes” and “When Boys are Black.” Additionally, there will be a My Cup of Tea Class & Recipe Swap on Wednesday, Aug. 2, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Eden Prairie High School. On Friday, Aug. 4, a family field trip (pre-registration required) will be to the Midtown Global Market and the Somali Museum of Minnesota in Minneapolis.
The Interfaith Circle partners with Community Education to offer a free Interfaith Field Trip on Saturday, Aug. 5, from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The trip involves tours of three local faith communities.
The “We Laugh Alike / Juntos nos reímos” Story Stroll, featuring Carmen T. Bernier-Grand’s book, will be at the Eden Prairie Library’s reading garden on the west side of the building all week during PeopleFest! The book follows six children at the park, with one group speaking only English and the other only Spanish, as they learn to communicate through playing, dancing, and singing. The stroll will be available during library hours from Sunday, July 30, to Saturday, Aug. 5, at 565 Prairie Center Drive.
A flyer provides a complete list of this week’s events.
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