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Together We Celebrate: Success at the 27th Annual Festival of Cultures

The LSS Multi-Cultural Center recently celebrated the 27th annual Festival of Cultures, an event designed to engage the community and honor cultural diversity in Sioux Falls.

passportsThe event’s success was made possible because of the partnership with Levitt Sioux Falls and presenting sponsor First PREMIER Bank/PREMIER Bankcard. It couldn’t have happened without their support.

“Among the highlights this year was the joy of seeing attendees engage with diverse cultures at the Global Village," shared Valeria Wicker of the LSS Multi-Cultural Center. New this year, the Global Village honored the original intent of the event which is to celebrate, share, and learn about cultures in our communities. Thanks to the support of WIC-CIAO and the Center for the Prevention of Child Maltreatment, attendees filled their passports as they explored the Global Village and had an opportunity to win food bundles prepared and generously provided by the sponsors of the Global Village.

“It was fun to see children joining the Eritreans dance performance as well as to see new and small businesses make their Festival debut, receiving encouraging support,” Wicker continued.

Featuring nearly 50 vendor booths and food trucks, the event provided a rich cultural experience and affirmed a strong sense of community and belonging. For many of those attending, the Festival of Cultures is about validation—where people of diverse backgrounds gather to share their arts, cuisines, stories and languages.

An integral part of the festival, the display of flags from around the world and the Annual Parade of Flags is a meaningful tradition. “The flags hold deep personal significance for individuals, families and groups,” says Wicker. “often contributing to a sense of belonging and acceptance within our community today.”

Adding a unique experience to this year's event, “we had a spontaneous addition to the program with the appearance of Miss South Dakota USA, Amitara Alwal. She shared her inspiring journey to the stage alongside her mother, leaving a lasting impression on our young audience," Wicker added.

Reflecting on the event, Rebecca Kiesow-Knudsen, CEO and President of LSS, remarked, "It was an amazing day of celebration and learning. Seeing families embrace and enjoy cultural diversity underscores the importance of the festival, one that LSS is proud to facilitate.

In addition to the partnership with the Levitt Sioux Falls and presenting sponsor First PREMIER Bank/PREMIER Bankcard Additional event sponsors include:

SDPB who live-streamed the event
Smithfield Foods
First Bank & Trust
CNA Surety
MarshMcLennan Agency
Showplace Cabinetry
Interstate Office Products
Grand Prairie Food, Inc.
Hilton Garden Inn Sioux Falls Downtown
Sammons Financial
Sanford Health
Sioux Falls Canaries

For more information on the LSS Multi-Cultural Center, visit

About Lutheran Social Services of South Dakota
LSS responds to changing needs in South Dakota communities. Our mission: Inspired by God's love, we care for, support and strengthen individuals, families, and communities and believe in the vision that all people in South Dakota will be healthy, safe, and accepted. LSS is one of the largest private non-profit human service agencies in South Dakota serving people of all ages, faiths, races, and economic statuses with professional, confidential, and affordable services statewide.