Nigerians in Minnesota will this weekend have a fun-filled celebration as Umunne Cultural Association in Minnesota, holds its annual IgboFest Day anniversary with the theme, Rising above the challenges. Guests expected at the event include Minnesota Governor Tim Walz and his deputy Peggy Flanagan, City Brooklyn Park Mayor Jeffrey Lunde, Senator Dean Philips and former auditor-general Anambra state, Sir Christopher Akuanyionwu(rtd).
The two-day event will hold on August 9 and 10 beginning with a gala night (with Ada Igbo) featuring beauty pageant contest at Mermaid Entertainment and Event Centre, Mounds view Boulevard, Minnesota by 5pm. First prize winner will go home with 1000 dollars, while second and third place winners will get 500 dollars and 350 dollars respectively.
The main event, which will feature performances, dances, and food exhibitions will hold on August 10 at North Hennepin Community College, 85th Avenue North, Brooklyn Park, Minnesota by 11am. President Umunne Cultural Association, Minnesota, Mr. Okechukwu Nnaji (Agbabalu Enyi Onya nke mbu n’ Enugu) who spoke on telephone, said that IgboFest is organised every year as a rally point for Igbo people in USA, Canada, Ghana, Liberia, as well as those in Nigeria to promote Igbo culture and traditions. He disclosed that the annual event is to bring to the global community Nigeria’s deep-rooted cultural heritage, which he said, has been on for the past 26 years.
Umunne Cultural association was founded in 1985 as an umbrella association that unites the Igbos in Minnesota. It is a nonprofit organization comprising of Igbo-speaking people of Nigeria living in Minnesota. Its main objective is to reflect on their affinity with one another and the shared goal of promoting and preserving the rich Igbo heritage.
The mission of Umunne Cultural Association in Minnesota is to enhance the cultural, educational, civic and general well-being of its members; to educate Minnesota about Igbo culture and traditions; and to involve its members in community development and charitable causes.
“We strive to accomplish this mission by organizing cultural events; community-based educational programmes; member volunteer activities; and by establishing relationships with other Minnesota-based organisations that share in the cultural diversity mission of Minnesota.
“We work to educate Igbo students to build successful careers and professions so that they may become substantial members and positively contribute to the communities in which they live,” the association says in its website.