Music and Dance in Abundance at Holiday Folk Fair International

Nov. 9, 2012

Entertainers that span the globe will play a major role in the 69th annual Holiday Folk Fair International, America’s premiere multi-cultural festival, to be held Fri., Nov. 16 – Sun., Nov. 18, 2012, at the Wisconsin Exposition Center at State Fair Park in West Allis, Wis.

The All Nations Theater will serve as the venue for the opening and closing ceremonies along with dancing by 29 ethnic groups, including representatives of groups representing the Bulgarian, Irish, Native American, Polynesian, Romanian, and Turkish.

The Music Pavilion will once again enable attendees to enjoy a variety of styles. One of the new acts at the 2012 Folk Fair is the Talisman band, which has been performing for over 30 years. Featuring traditional European folk music with a little rock and roll mixed in, the Talisman has performed regularly at Germanfest. They are known for pleasing their audience, while having a good time doing it.

Other performances throughout the weekend will feature the Bob Breuer Polka Band, the Elegant Gypsies, the Orkestar Sloboda, Mid East Beat, and Prazna Flasa. In addition, a vast array of ethnic groups will perform throughout the Fair, including African American, Bavarian, Croatian, Serbian, Slovak-Tatra, and Thai groups.

The Young People’s Showcase will feature the dancing talent of 20 young ethnic group members, including Chinese, Latvian, Mexican, Pomeranian, and Ukrainian groups.

The Coffee House provides those in attendance the opportunity to enjoy a cup of coffee, espresso, or tea and baked goods, such as Italian biscotti or a Scottish scone, while listening to talented musicians from throughout the world. Acts scheduled to perform include Brian Bauman (American Folk), Christopher’s Legacy (Celtic), Pommersche Spaldeel (Pomerianian) , and Tuuletargad (Estonian).

Produced by the International Institute of Wisconsin, Holiday Folk Fair International celebrates the cultural heritage of the people living in southeastern Wisconsin. This year’s theme, “Celebrate the Culture of the Story,” will allow Fair-goers the opportunity to learn the ways in which music, food, dance, and art explain a culture’s history and traditions.
Special attractions at this year’s event include the “One World, One People” photo exhibit, the Sister Cities International Young Artists and Authors Showcase, the UNESCO World Heritage Sites photo exhibit, an Old World Wisconsin display area, the Wisconsin Woodturners, and a bonsai exhibit.

The three-day event features the World Café offering traditional dishes, Heritage Lane with unique traditions and customs through interactive exhibits, the International Bazaar where cultural artifacts create a unique shopping experience, and the Callen Construction Cooking Demonstration Stage featuring local chefs preparing traditional cuisine.

Holiday Folk Fair International will also host a United States Citizenship Naturalization Ceremony Sat., Nov. 17, at 10:30 a.m. and an “Around the World” 5K Run/Walk Sun., Nov. 18 at 9:00 a.m.

Hours on Fri., Nov. 16 are 2 p.m. – 10 p.m.; 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. on Sat., Nov. 17; and 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. on Sun., Nov. 18. Advance tickets will be sold for $10 each, with family four-packs for $36, and can be purchased on-line at

Admission at the gate will be $12 for adults; $8 for children ages 6 to 12; children under the age of five will be admitted at no charge. Those 62 and over will be admitted for $10, and all military personnel with a military ID card will be admitted free.

For more information on the 2012 Holiday Folk Fair International, visit or call the International Institute of Wisconsin at 414-225-6220.

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