The Minnesotan Somali community celebrated the 55th anniversary of Somalia’s independence from Britain and Italy this weekend at a festival that spanned three blocks of West Lake Street.
According to the 2010 American Community Survey data, there are around 25,000 Somali-Americans in Minnesota, a third of the Somali population of the United States. Although Somali Independence Day is technically July 1, the Minneapolis festival was held on Saturday, June 13 because it will be Ramadan from mid-June until mid-July.
Somali flags and balloons with the logo of Progressive Insurance, one of many sponsors of the event, were prominent features around the festival.
Friends and families came together to celebrate on Lake Street, between Blaisdell and Grand.
Ka Joog hosted the event and set up a bounce house.
Somali women made and sold artisanry in front of a replica of a traditional Somali hut.
Large crowds gathered to watch traditional Somali dances.
DJs played music on Lake and Grand and inspired dancing in the streets.
Festival attendees were able to taste authentic Somali food.
A soccer field was set up in front of Walgreens.
In addition to the celebration of Somali traditions, Somali-American pride was also evident at the Independence Day festival.