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Shared Vision: Cultural Connections Community Celebration set

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Shared Vision has partnered with other area groups for the sixth annual "Cultural Connections Community Celebration - celebrating who we are together."

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The event will take place from 4-8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 19, at the Lake Bemidji waterfront.

Last year an estimated 700 people gathered at the waterfront to celebrate diversity, promote cultural understanding, and support community.

"It appeals to a range of ages," said Leanne Jaskowiak of Peacemaker Resources. "You see families, elderly people, and teens enjoying themselves here."

All are welcome to join the celebration Friday, and there is no admission fee.

Activities will include: intergenerational games, canoeing, MinnAqua, information booths, farmers market, meals and continual music throughout the afternoon and evening.

Jaskowiak said that food will be provided by the American Indian Resource Center. Fresh wild rice and produce will also be donated by local organizations.

"Our goal is to have healthy, locally grown food," Jaskowiak said.

Partners for Cultural Connections include the Indigenous Environmental Network, Bemidji State University Outdoor Program Center, Peacemaker Resources, Bemidji Area Race Relations Council, SHIP Maawanjii'idwiwag Project and Dirty Goose Recording Studio.

"All of us take a part in it," said Jaskowiak.

Event organizer and Public Health Nurse Consultant Wendy Kvale said it was exciting to learn and appreciate the differences and similarities of people with different cultural backgrounds.

Through the expression of local food, music, activities and various organizations that support and promote cultural connections and the quality of life in our area, Kvale said that people learn to commemorate cultural distinctions.

"That is, 'celebrating who we are together,'" she said.

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