Worthington International Festival 2022

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Photo by Tim Middagh / The Globe

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A special thank you to all of the following contributors & sponsors. We could not do this without your support! This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board and the Southwest Minnesota Arts Council, thank to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund. AMBASSADOR LEVEL





AVERA MEDICAL GROUP WORTHINGTON • IMMIGRANT LAW CENTER • NEWELL ORTHODONTICS, P.C. REMAX/HAYENGA PREMIER REALTY, LLC • STATE FARM - JASON VOTE AGENCY & JESSICA NOBLE AGENCY WORTHINGTON FEDERAL SAVINGS BANK • MIKE WOLL INVESTMENT OFFICE The Worthington International Festival Planning Committee would also like to extend a thank you to the volunteers, community members, local businesses, and other sponsors who are not listed above. Thank you again!


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JULY 7 Thursday, July 7, 2022 Immigrant Conversations at the Worthington Memorial Auditorium 6:30 PM Ethnic Food samples ($1 per sample) 7:00 PM Film “Five Years North” The coming-of-age story of Luis, an undocumented Guatemalan boy who just arrived alone in New York City. He struggles to work, study, and evade Judy - the Cuban-American ICE officer patrolling his neighborhood. 8:30 PM Panel Presentation and Dialogue

Friday, July 8, 2022 5:30 PM • Opening Ceremony • Greeting • Welcome by Mayor Mike Kuhle • Flags of the World • National Anthem sung by Raquel and Hector Avila

CHILDREN’S ACTIVITIES Friday, July 8 6:00-7:00 PM • The Zoo Man 6:00-8:00 PM • Games and Crafts with the Nobles County Integration Collaborative

Saturday, July 9 11:30-3:00 PM • The Baron of Bubbles



6:00-7:00 PM • Innocent Reggae Performance 7:05-7:10 PM • Arianna and Zoe Gilles (Youth Artists) 7:10-8:00 PM • Native Fashion Show 8:05-9:00 PM • Innocent Reggae Performance

Saturday, July 9, 2022 10:45 AM • Greeting from Bruce Heitkamp, County Administrator 11:00-11:05 AM • Grace Holmbeck (Youth Artist) 11:05–11:35 AM • Norsk duo 11:40- 12:35 PM • Gabriel Fueston and friends (latino rock) 12:30-1:25 PM • Pan Dimensions (Caribbean steel drums)

12:00-3:00 PM • Artmobile 2:00-4:00 PM • Worthington Police Department 3:30-5:30 PM • Mr. Twister 5:00-8:00 PM • Creative Healing Space, Inc.

1:30-1:35 PM • Emma Holmbeck, Youth performance 1:40-2:00 PM • Lion Dance group (Chinese ceremonial dance) 2:05-3:00 PM • Los Rebeldes (Latino Ranchero music) 3:05-4:00 PM • Rince Na Chroi (kree) Irish dance group 4:05-4:35 PM • Norsk duo 4:40-5:10 PM • Zumba performance (audience participation) 5:15-5:55 PM • Cristo Rey (local Mariachi group) 6:00-6:15 PM • Lao dance 6:20-7:15 PM • Genet Abate (East African music and dance) 7:15 – 9:15 PM • Ecuador Manta (Latin American pan pipes)


• SDSU Ice Cream • KC BBQ • Mama Watzz West Texas BBQ • Long Branch • Boki Gelato • Olivia’s Pupusas • Top Asian Bubble Tea • Elaine Knuckles Taste of Liberia • Sabor Salvadoreño • Tacos Jalisco • Debbie’s Caribbean Kitchen • Itsy Bitsy Ice Box • Sibley Snow Cone

ETHNIC/ARTISAN BOOTHS • Eritrean Ethnic Booth • Karen Weaving • Tigray Ethnic Booth • Oromo Ethnic Booth • Alicia’s Silver

Nobles County Government Center Downtown Worthington This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board and the Southwest Minnesota Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.


Event is sponsored by the Cultural Awareness Organization/International Festival Committee with financial support from area businesses. For more information, contact the Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce Office at 507-372-2919 or visit worthingtoninternationalfestival.org

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Welcome to the 28th International Festival Events planned Thursday through Saturday BY JULIE BUNTJER The Globe

WORTHINGTON — Worthington’s 28th International Festival kicks off at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, July 7, with a special immigrant conversations program at Memorial Auditorium. The new venue for the Thursday evening program allows for the showing of “Five Years North,” a movie that shares the coming-of-age story of Luis, a Guatemalan boy who arrived alone in New York City and struggles to work, study and evade the ICE officer patrolling his neighborhood. The film will be followed by a panel presentation and dialogue organized by Jesse Nitzschke and Tammy Makram. Preceding the film, attendees will be able to purchase ethnic food samples in the auditorium lobby. The outdoor portion of the festival returns to the Nobles County Government Center lawn in downtown Worthington on Friday, with the opening ceremony to begin at 5:30 p.m. Attendees will be treated to a parade of flags and the National Anthem, as well as several musical performances. One of the highlights of the evening will be the native fashion show. “I’m looking forward to the fashion show on Friday night,” said Leann Zins Enninga, International Festival committee member. “We have a person from Mexico who is here visiting and she does (fashion shows) on a regular, professional basis. I’m looking forward to seeing what she comes up with for the fashion show.” Each year, the festival

committee works to bring in new cultural performers and ensure a variety of ethnic food vendors are set up along Third Avenue, between Ninth and 10th streets. “We always have a little bit different in terms of the food that’s available, and we also have some of the great standbys because they’re local,” Enninga said. “We want to emphasize that we have people in our community and we’re bringing them all together.” The performers, too, include a mix of local people and groups brought in from outside the community. “We are excited to have Genet Abate — she is quite a singer,” Enninga said. “She’s bringing some dancers and some other musicians. I’m really excited to see what she can do.” Genet Abate will perform selections from several tribal communities of eastern Africa. Among the local performers is Gabriel Fueston, who works as a legal assistant at Kivu Immigration Law in downtown Worthington. “He’s going to do some rock ’n roll with a Latino twist,” said Enninga. “He was born and raised here, but lived in Ecuador for 10 years. “We also have a Mariachi group from St. Mary’s, and that’s going to be fun.” For a full list of the cultural artists performing Friday and Saturday, see the schedule of events. “The goal with our cultural artists is to always have a variety of different cultures represented,” Enninga shared. “We can’t do Filipino music or

Bagpipers enjoy the day at the 2021 International Festival. Ecuadorian music every year. There will be some Latino, African, Asian and European, making sure we hit all of those areas in some way or another.” Throughout the festival, visitors will get to learn about and interact with other cultures through the ethnic educational booths open on the festival grounds. In addition, there will be a variety of activities for children. “One of the things that is so important about the festival is it is family-centered,” Enninga said. “We intentionally set out to provide things for young children and adolescents to do.” The Nobles County Integration Collaborative is sponsoring some activities on Friday night, and the Artmobile and Creative Healing Space will also offer programming for kids and adults to participate in.

EVENTS: Page 10

Tim Middagh / The Globe

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board and the Southwest Minnesota Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.


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Cool vibrations from music ensembles on Friday, Saturday Caribbean steel drums, reggae, Ethiopian music all on tap BY JANE TURPIN MOORE The Globe

WORTHINGTON — Get ready to move and groove to cool tunes rooted in various ethnic traditions. “Music is a universal language that transcends culture,” said Felicia Kelly, booking agent for three Twin Cities-based bands slated to perform at the 2022 Worthington International Festival. “These groups provide cultural opportunities in relaxed settings.” Experienced and enthusiastic musicians, skilled at putting their audiences at ease, are the hallmark of Pan Dimensions (a Caribbean steel drum duo), Innocent Reggae and Genet Abate (a female-led Ethiopian ensemble). Prepare to show up, kick back and bliss out as this embarrassment of musical riches is on tap to entertain all comers in free performances

Innocent Mfalingundi, leader of Innocent Reggae, performs. at the Nobles County Government Center this weekend.

Innocent Reggae

Friday, 6-7 p.m. and 8:05-9 p.m. With a name like Innocent Mfalingundi, it’s easy to understand why his band goes with the simple

moniker Innocent Reggae. “Innocent is from Tanzania, and his band members are from Trinidad and St. Croix [in the U.S. Virgin Islands],” said Kelly, mentioning that Innocent speaks Swahili as well as English. “He’s a major artist with Top 10 hits in

Submitted photo

Tanzania, and he incorporates east African guitar into his reggae.” It’s not Innocent Reggae’s first Worthington gig; the band has performed at previous Worthington International Festivals to great effect. “We love getting Innocent Reggae out to

communities like Worthington that have large swaths of minority residents,” said Kelly. “There’s such an underrepresentation of minorities in art and music, and people love it when we share their rhythms and languages.” Besides their Worthington appearance, Innocent Reggae (which has been a popular group on Minnesota State Fair stages in past years) is sharing its cool tunes and relaxed music this summer in places like the Como Park Zoo and Conservatory, Rochester, Roseville, Fridley and Prescott, Wisconsin, to name a few sites. “Innocent roots his reggae with positive life messages, and there’s a general hopeful tone and tenor to his performances even though some of the songs are about struggle and liberation,” said Kelly. “If kids are there, he’ll get them to sing with him; he brings a very good energy with a lot of hope and strength that help lead to the overall good [reggae] vibrations.”

Pan Dimensions Saturday, 12:30-1:25 p.m. They make it all look so easy, but do not underestimate Caribbean drum specialists like Lance Pollonais and Charles “Chilly” Petrus of Pan Dimensions. You cannot do this at home. “The steelpan is considered the most recently invented modern instrument,” said Kelly, who has worked as a high school social studies and geography teacher when she’s not promoting musical ensembles. “It’s only been since the 1990s that Northern Illinois University started programs offering bachelor’s and master’s degrees in steelpan music.” While pan music traces its origins to post-World War II Trinidad (Pollonais’ home country), where kids started playing around with abandoned oil drums, it has become a specialized pursuit with standardized tuning.

MUSIC: Page 10

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Irish dancers, Rince na Chroi, step out on Saturday BY JANE TURPIN MOORE The Globe

WORTHINGTON — With bouncing curls, flouncing skirts and white ankle socks contrasting sharply with black dancing shoes, it’s hard to ignore the flair and fashion on display when Rince na Chroi takes the stage. “We’re really excited to come to Worthington’s International Festival,” said Rince na Chroi founder/owner/director Katie Stephens Spangler, “and we’re grateful for the opportunity to perform for this audience.” Saturday’s appearance by the St. Paul-based Irish dance troupe Rince na Chroi (pronounced “rinka-na cree,” Gaelic for “dance of the heart”) won’t be its first in Worthington. The half-Irish, full-hearted Spangler has in past years brought dancers, ranging from three-year- olds to adults, to the community’s signature July celebration of diversity.

Spangler says up to 20 of her 200+ dancers are expected to show their considerable Irish step dancing skills this Saturday. After all, performances are what they prepare for and love. “In a typical year, we have about 100 public performances,” said Spangler. “We are a dance school that focuses 100% on performance and teamwork; our dancers don’t compete, but we like to get out and about as much as we can.” Other than the “hard couple of years” wrought by COVID cancellations, Spangler says her troupe travels mainly throughout Minnesota but also across the Midwest. Festivals like Worthington’s are familiar fare. “Often we attend events featuring other types of folk and ethnic dance groups, and it’s really fun to see what dance looks like from other cultures,” said Spangler. “It’s a good experience for our

dancers to both do what they do and see how other cultures celebrate dance as well.” A Milwaukee native and lifelong dance enthusiast, Spangler started Rince na Chroi in St. Paul in February 2003 with just a dozen dancers. Now, with nearly 20 years of Irish step dancing instruction under her belt, she is a confident professional who joins with her 10-person staff in teaching more than 200 students annually. “New dancers start with us each fall, and typically by winter they’re performing for the first time,” Spangler said. “Our most seasoned dancers have worked weekly for eight to 12 years to achieve the level of dancing they’re at.” In Irish step dancing, one of two different shoe types is worn depending on the style of dance being performed. “The soft shoes are more like a ballet-type shoe, and the hard

Special to The Globe

Irish Dance members of Rince Na Chroi will entertain the audience at the International Festival on Saturday. shoes are similar to tap shoes but with fiberglass on the tips and heels,” Spangler explained. And that hair! Those costumes! It’s all part of creating a genuine expression of Irish step dance. “We pride ourselves on the

dancers looking nice (with curly Irish dance wigs) and having lovely traditional costumes,” said Spangler. “We’re happy to share what we love doing with people who are interested in watching.”

Photos by Tim Middagh / The Globe

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Festival offers many tasty treats from around the globe BY JULIE BUNTJER The Globe

WORTHINGTON — A former Mountain Lake woman who serves up Caribbean fare made her debut appearance at Worthington’s International Festival in 2021, and will return to the festival this week. Debbie Rodney has operated Caribbean Kitchen and Grill for more than 20 years, getting her start when she saw a need for a decent meal while attending Mountain Lake’s Pow Wow festival. “There was nothing there and … I told my husband, ‘I think jerk chicken and rice and beans would go well.’ Now we’ve added barbecued ribs to it.” Rodney will have her authentic Jamaican jerk chicken, sauteed cabbage, barbecued ribs and various other foods for sale from her food truck. “Jamaican jerk, or just jerk in general, is a cultural thing,” Rodney said. “It’s how you marinade the food. We marinade it

Tim Middagh / The Globe

Skewers of food are being prepared by one of the 2021 International Festival food vendors. and let it sit so it can soak up all that marinade. “It can be spicy, but I don’t make it spicy. I put spice on the side. I want you to enjoy the food,” she added. Born in Jamaica, Rodney moved to the United States

with her mother at the age of 21. She lived in Mountain Lake for nearly 28 years before moving to Waseca last year, when her husband’s job was transferred. The move has proved successful for Rodney as her food truck

is booked every week or weekend through September. “Moving from Mountain Lake has given me a wider demographic area to work in, but my locals I will always come back to,” she said. Operating the food truck

is, however, a side business for Rodney. She graduated from the nursing program at then-Worthington Community College and works as a nurse when she’s not traveling with the food truck. “I really enjoy nursing, but I also enjoy doing food,” she said. “I love the outdoors. Being from a tropical country, I just want to be outdoors.” Caribbean Kitchen and Grill will be open Friday and Saturday during the festival. Additional food vendors include: Ź SDSU Ice Cream Ź KC BBQ Ź Mama Watzz West Texas BBQ Ź Long Branch Ź Boki Gelato Ź Olivia’s Pupusas Ź Top Asian Bubble Tea Ź Elaine Knuckles Taste of Liberia Ź Sabor Salvadoreño Ź Tacos Jalisco Ź Itsy Bitsy Ice Box Ź Sibley Snow Cone


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Bridging immigrants was key to Krapf’s service on festival committee He is one of two Friends of the Festival to be honored this year BY JULIE BUNTJER The Globe

WORTHINGTON — When Jim Krapf retired from his role as pastor of Westminster Presbyterian Church in 2012, he found several community causes with which to volunteer. The International Festival quickly became near and dear to his heart because of the people he met and the conversations sparked between immigrants both new and not-sonew. A member of the International Festival committee since 2013, Krapf is one of two individuals being recognized this year as a Friend of the Festival. Unfortunately, Krapf and his wife, Cynthia, are heading out of town with a moving van the day before the festival’s start — that’s when the movers were available. The couple will

make their new home in Pensacola, Florida, near their daughter and three grandsons. Krapf Looking back on his decade-long service to the International Festival committee, Krapf said the effort has been important to him, starting with the immigrant conversations conducted on the Thursday evening prior to the outdoor festival’s start. “Thursday night focused more on really getting to know our immigrant neighbors and understanding their situations,” shared Krapf, who is excited to see that tradition carry on this year thanks to Worthington High School counselor Jesse Nitzschke and Memorial Auditorium

Performing Arts Center director Tammy Makram and the program they have planned. “I’m very pleased that they’re carrying this on,” Krapf said. “I think they have a marvelous presentation that should have impact as well.” The immigrant conversations portion of the International Festival began with Krapf reading excerpts from the book, “Immigrant German Farmer.” The book is composed of more than 200 letters written by German immigrants who settled in east central Iowa, where Krapf grew up. The book’s author took the letters and created a composite as though the letters were written by one individual. “Then we would have three new immigrants tell their story and

include parallels of what happened with the German immigrants,” said Krapf. In later years, they read excerpts from the book and had more face-to-face dialogue with attendees. “It was important to me to find those parallels between my ancestors and the new immigrants arriving now,” he said. “It built some appreciation and understanding.” And that connection goes both ways. Krapf said during a visit to El Salvador several years ago, he asked the people what gave them hope. “They said, ‘You now know our story.’ That stuck with me for decades,” Krapf said. “Helping people know the story of their neighbors, I think, is positive.” Related to his volunteerism with the festival,


Krapf has also tutored ESL and citizenship classes through District 518 Community Education. He has interacted with many new immigrants through both organizations. “I admire the tenacity, the courage of people who have left their homes to try and improve things for their families,” he said. “My grandfather came to the U.S. from Germany when he was a teenager. I often imagine what that might have been like for him.”

Last year, when the International Festival chose to honor essential workers — the people who continued to work during the pandemic, putting their own life at risk — Krapf saw people of all ethnicities take part in a parade and be recognized. They were local residents who worked with health, food, education and government. “I’m glad the festival had a way of (bringing them together),” Krapf said. “We needed each other.” Krapf hopes that the International Festival will continue to celebrate all people, bring us together to learn from each other and build a healthy, diverse community. “I hope that some year we’ll get back,” he added.

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McCarvel ‘the audio guy’ to be honored as Friend of the Festival BY JULIE BUNTJER The Globe

WORTHINGTON — Brewster native Paul McCarvel is one of two Friends of the Festival being honored during the 28th annual International Festival July 7-9, in downtown Worthington. McCarvel, owner of PM Music, has volunteered as the sound technician for the festival since 2008, but it was back in 1993 or 1994 that he was first asked to provide the sound system for the flatbed-turned-stage. “I was probably in college at the time,” McCarvel said. “Then I was away from everything for a while and I don’t know how I got called back into it.” McCarvel, who lives with his family in Tea, South Dakota, works for a

San Diego, California-based company for which he designs sound systems McCarvel for hotels and large convention centers and facilities along the California coast. He also farms with his brother and dad, Mike McCarvel, in rural Brewster. “Running sound is something I do as a hobby,” he said. “I always tell my wife that there are people that buy boats and go out to the lake every weekend, but I buy sound equipment and go do gigs every weekend.” McCarvel enjoys coming back to the International Festival year after year because of the importance of the event.

“It’s something that’s bringing diversity awareness to Worthington, and not just Worthington — all cities need that type of interaction happening,” McCarvel said. “I really enjoy the diversity and (the festival) is always different. There’s always different bands that are on stage. “The music is very diverse,” he added. “We can be doing Irish dance or a Mariachi band on the stage — it’s a full gamut of different music styles, which I really enjoy.” As an audio guy, McCarvel said he also enjoys “flying by the seat of my pants,” when something goes wrong on stage, and can help festival organizers adjust. “I just really enjoy doing the work,” he said.

Tim Middagh / The Globe

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MUSIC From Page 5

Photos by Tim Middagh / The Globe

EVENTS From Page 4

Volunteers needed While Enninga has been involved with the International Festival for years, there is a mix of people who volunteer and help plan the festival from year to year. Enninga said they are in need of more people to help. “We are in dire need of people to give some new ideas,” she said. Those interested in volunteering can sign up on the worthingtoninternationalfestival.org website, or visit Worthington International Festival on Facebook. The festival has grown tremendously from what it was 28 years ago, when the first festival was essentially a potluck meal between new and former immigrant families in the community. “We had some wonderful foremothers and forefathers who had the

“People love to look at the pan to see how the sounds are made,” said Kelly. “It’s very complicated because every angle is a different note.” Pan Dimensions has been a popular group at the Minnesota State Fair’s International Bazaar, for instance, but with the duo churning out everything from “Hot, Hot, Hot” to jazz standards to “Love Boat”-worthy sounds on their tenor and double bass drums, they’ve attracted a broad audience and often play for private parties, corporate events and park music series. Said Kelly, “It’s lilting, happy music that everyone likes.”

Genet Abate

Saturday, 6:20-7:15 p.m. This Ethiopian ensemble is led by the foresight to see that we needed to get to know our new neighbors a bit better,” Enninga said. “I am so grateful for those early people … who got this started. We built on it over the years and I think it’s really neat to see. “I think they would be proud of how it has evolved and changed and become a premier event that not only Worthington, but the entire region may be proud of,” she added.

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Genet Abate will perform at the 2022 International Festival in Worthington. eponymous Genet Abate. Some of their YouTube videos, Kelly reported, have over one million views and counting. “Genet speaks Amharic, and she has band members who speak Tigrian and Oromo,” said Kelly. “So there are three distinct cultures and representations on stage, each unique and

different.” In addition, two dancers will demonstrate the traditional Ethiopian Eskista (involving intense movements of the neck, shoulder and chest) and Gurage dances. “It’s going to be great,” said Kelly, who revealed that Genet Abate will soon be traveling to perform at a reggae festival in San Antonio,Texas. “Genet appears at Ethiopian communities around the country,” Kelly added. “She studied at the Yared School of Music in Addis Ababa.” Given Worthington’s sizable East African community, Genet Abate should be a huge draw—but attendees of all backgrounds are warmly invited to watch, learn and enjoy. “This is all family fun,” said Kelly, “and people love it.”

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