Walk Around the World educates crowds on globe's cultures - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Walk Around the World educates crowds on globe's cultures

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- Crowds gathered in downtown Rochester on Saturday to celebrate diversity and build awareness for the plight of refugees around the world.

The fourth annual "Walk Around the World International Festival" stretched through Peace Plaza in a unique display of world cultures.

Dancers representing every corner of the world invited festival goers to center stage for a showcase of multicultural talent.

"Today's a great way to show the different cultures of the community through food, through music, through different forms of entertainment how lucky we are to have these cultures here on a daily basis," said Cory Simonson of Rochester.

Rochester's international community filled Peace Plaza with arts and crafts, traditional costumes and symbols of heritage.  The multicultural celebration recognizes the United Nations' "World Refugee Day".

"Refugees have settled here in our community and brought with them courage and resiliency and the beauty of their culture and we're celebrating that today," said Ron Buzard of the Intercultural Mutual Assistance Association.

More than 43 million people around the world are currently displaced by persecution, conflict and violence.

"We have the perfect opportunity here to lend a helping hand to a family, to a refugee who's been affected by that," Buzard said.

While the festival recognizes a growing international crisis, to some it carries a message on the importance of acceptance both abroad and at home.

"We all live on the same shoreline, sharing that shoreline with father sky," said Nakoma Volkman of Rochester.

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