The countdown has begun for one of Winnipeg's most beloved and one-of-a-kind multicultural festivals, Folklorama.
Before the pavilions open on July 31, Folklorama is hosting a kickoff.
"This Saturday, July 23, at Assiniboine Park at the Lyric Theatre, at 4:00 p.m. the 'doors will open' for this free event," says Tanya Williams, the Director of Marketing Communications and Engagement with Folklorama. "From 4-10 you'll see entertainment that you'll see at the pavilions and you'll also see the programs that we run at Folklorama."
Some booths will be set up along with food from different countries.
"My favourite part is at 6:30.," says Williams. "This will be the start of the ambassador's parade. This is the only place that you will see all of the ambassadors from all of the pavilions come and be introduced on stage for everybody to applaud. It's exciting to watch them all see each other again after all these years. It's going to be so great to have everyone together with a big photo at the end."
The ambassadors from each pavilion visit other countries pavilions throughout Folklorama and do even more over the course of the year.
"The ambassadors do great community work with us throughout the year, volunteering at many different charities."
The past two summers in Winnipeg were a lot less festive and colourful as Folklorama was only available online during the pandemic.
"It feels a little emotional [to be back in person]. We have monthly pavilion coordinator meetings to hear about what they're working on. To see everybody again, someone had a baby that wasn't married three years ago, it's that family connection and excitement."
Folklorama is running pavilions from July 31 until August 13 in multiple locations across Winnipeg.
"The response has been phenomenal. Part of our department is looking after group tour programs. I think 11 out of 37 of our V.I.P tours are already sold out. Our custom tours are doing extremely well and we're getting bookings daily. The excitement is alive in Winnipeg and around Winnipeg, everybody is excited to come and celebrate Folklorama."
More details can be found on their website.