Croatian Pavilion Zagreb, Inc

August 6-12, 2017 - West Kildonan Collegiate - 101 Ridgecrest Avenue

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Folklorama is an event that runs for two weeks each August in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. It is the largest and longest-running festival of its kind in the world (acknowledged by the International Council of Organizations for Folklore Festivals and Folk Art, also known as CIOFF). Visitors to the festival are invited to sample exotic cuisine and celebrate the cultural and ethnic heritage of people from dozens of countries who have made Winnipeg their home.

Typically there are 40 to 45 pavilions presented, with half operating in week one and half in week two of the festival. Each country has an assigned venue, known as a pavilion. These pavilions are located throughout the city. Each pavilion presents a show featuring the song and dance of their culture, along with trademark ethnic cuisine and a cultural display. Many pavilions provide additional interactive components, such as having henna tattoos applied, or sell souvenirs and crafts to take home. Most pavilions also provide imported alcohol from their feature country. Folklorama provides exposure to cultural groups and brings in thousands of tourists each year, adding to the city's economy.

Folklorama History

Folklorama was first held in August 1970. It was originally intended to be a one-time occurrence in celebration of Manitoba's centennial. It was deemed such a success that it became an annual event. The first festival was only a week long, featuring 21 different cultures; it drew approximately 75,000 separate pavilion visits. The festival adopted its current two-week format in 1988, with half of the pavilions open in each week. As of 2007, only five of the original pavilions have been open every year. They are: German, Philippine-Nayong Pilipino, Ukraine-Kyiv, Greek and Scandinavian.

The festival's mascot, the Folklorama Llama, was created in 1986.

Until 1990, pavilions would have a mayor and a hostess. The hostess would be in the running for the Miss Folklorama pageant at the end of the festival. The Miss Folklorama pageant was not a beauty pageant but a contest of ethnic preservation and presentation. Since 1990, pavilions now feature two adult ambassadors and two youth ambassadors.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 27 July 2010 22:18  

Folklorama facts

On average, Folklorama receives around 400,000 pavilion visits each year. The 2008 festival received approximately 446,000 pavilion visits. The majority of those who attend the festival visit more than one pavilion.

About 21% of pavilion visitors come from outside of Winnipeg.

Typically, more than 3,000 entertainers perform at more than 1,500 shows throughout the two-week festival.

On average, 600,000 meals are served and 1,000,000 beverages are poured before the conclusion of the festival.

Approximately 20,000 volunteers participate to make Folklorama possible.

Folklorama has an economic impact of about $14.7 million on the Manitoba economy.

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