Get ready to put on your stretchy pants and dancing shoes, Manitoba.
Folklorama, the longest-running multicultural festival festival in the world, is kicking off on Sunday with 40 pavilions around Winnipeg complete with international foods, music and dance.
“It’s such a fantastic model that you don’t see in other cities, seeing each other celebrate each other,” said Tanya Williams, Folklorama’s director of marketing, communications and engagement in an interview on Wednesday.
“It’s such a a fantastic Winnipeg event and something that we should be really proud of.”
The two week-long festival runs until Sunday, Aug. 19 with 20 pavilions open during the first week and the other 20 open during the second.
Festival-goers can look forward to the return of the Cuba pavilion after a six-year hiatus.
“It feels great to be back in the Folklorama family and being part of this amazing event. I’ve been a part of it since I came to Canada in 2005,” said Harold Rancano, the head of entertainment for the pavilion in a Wednesday interview.
He says the last pavilion was in 2017 and organizers intended to just take a two-year break, but then the pandemic hit.
Rancano says he’s looking forward to getting back up on the pavilion stage.
“I’m really excited to dance again for the Cuba pavilion and represent the culture,” he said.
The pavilion will run in the second week of Folklorama at the Heather Curling Club on Youville Street.
Some pavilions have high-profile international guests taking the stage at their respective locations.
The Romanian pavilion is celebrating its 20th consecutive year with Folklorama by bringing in 10 dancers, a four-piece orchestra and a soloist from the University of Clug to perform, according to Isabela Giubega, the pavilion’s spokesperson.
“We’re just really happy that they’re able to come celebrate our 20th year with us,” she said.
“Romania is not a really well-known country, so we just like to showcase that we’re more than just Dracula and cabbage rolls — we have such a rich and diverse history and culture.”
The Romanian pavilion is open during the second week of Folklorama at the Bronx Community Centre on Henderson Highway.
Williams says the El Salvador pavilion is also bringing in the Ballet Folklórico Nacional from that country to perform.
People who enjoy sweet treats can take part in the first-ever Sweet Tooth Tour, Williams says.
“If you love having dessert all night long, it’s a great tour to take,” she says.
Williams suggests looking up the Folklorama Travel Guide for those people who want to visit multiple pavilions in a day.