St Louis - Bologna Sister Cities at Festival of Nations

Sep 05, 2018 891

BY: Michael Cross

Over 300 children came to the St Louis - Bologna Sister Cities booth at the Festival of Nations in St Louis during the weekend of August 25 - 26. The Festival of Nations, held annually in Tower Grove Park, is St Louis' largest multicultural celebration featuring more than 100 local ethnic and international organizations.

There are booths, non-stop dance and music, arts and crafts, and an international bazaar with unique gifts from around the world. This year was the first time that the re-established St Louis - Bologna Sister Cities participated with a Tavola Italiana or Italian Table. It was also the first time in many years that an Italian organization was present at the Festival of Nations said this year's Festival Chair Arvan Chan.

This year's booth focused on arts and crafts. Children were able to make necklaces and bracelets out of 15 different types of pasta. Painting materials were also provided as children made colorful crafts out of different shapes and sizes of pasta noodles. The kids loved painting on objects that normally have a different function. Their parents may not look at lasagna noodles the same way again, but they sure created memories and some neat artwork with their kiddos!

The St Louis - Bologna Sister Cities Organization is under the direct supervision of the World Trade Center - St Louis and associated with the Comunita' degli Italiani - St Louis as well as Club Italiano Per Piacere. St Louis has 15 sister cities which were all represented at the Festival of Nations. Kids were able to stop by and see why each sister city is partnered with St Louis. The children were given pretend passports and were able to go around to each booth getting stamps and stickers as they learned about each city and country represented.

Bologna has a special connection with St Louis for several reasons. Bologna happens to be the center of agriculture research and food production in Italy just as St Louis is a center for plant sciences and agricultural technology in North America. Bologna, and its province Emilia-Romagna, is also famous for the manufacturing of Italy's most famous luxury vehicles: Lamborghini, Maserati, and Ducati. Interestingly enough, before Detroit, St Louis was the car manufacturing capital of the US from the 1890s until the 1930s when the Moon Motor Car Company produced some of the most stylish American made cars. Lastly, Bologna has the world's oldest university founded in 1099 and St Louis has the oldest university west of the Mississippi River: Saint Louis University.

A special word of gratitude goes out to all the volunteers who helped make the Tavola Italiana such a success, especially Carina Marino, Molly Obert, Elisa Di Rosa, Sergio Vaira, Nikki Palazzolo, and Stella Sheehan. For more information regarding the St Louis - Bologna Sister Cities as well as the upcoming Christmas concert, feel free to contact Michael Cross at: mikecross.stl@gmail.com

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