Parade of Nations crowds into Dee Stadium

(Joshua Vissers/Daily Mining Gazette) The Parade of Nations' color guard approaches the end of Quincy Street.

HOUGHTON — An international crowd turned out to the streets of Hancock and Houghton to welcome each other to Copper Country as another school year begins.

“We all celebrate together, we all celebrate the same,” said Kiran Udayakumar, an international student from India who earned two graduate degrees from Michigan Tech.

He works in Chicago now on an H1B visa, and returned to the area to recruit more MTU students for his employer. He said he left early, at 4 a.m., to make it in time for the parade.

“I don’t want to miss this,” he said.

Machel Borsum, chairwoman of the parade committee, said the parade typically involves more than 60 countries and more than 3,000 visitors to the parade and Dee Stadium’s multicultural festival afterward.

(Joshua Vissers/Daily Mining Gazette) Devin Connor, 9, whows off his fancy feather dance style on stage in the Dee Stadium.

Devin Connor, 9, impressed the crowd in the Dee with a fancy feather-style dance in colorful regalia.

“He’s been dancing since he’s been walking,” his mother, Demery Connor, said.

Doreen Blaker, a member of the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community’s (KBIC) Tribal Council, remembers participating in the parade since the 1990s. She walked with other KBIC members in the parade again this year. According to Blaker, the Anishinaabe teach of four nationsin the world, and that the people of each nation may have differences, but are also the same.

“We’ve always recognized that fact in our teaching,” she said.

Jackie Li wore traditional Chinese dress and walked with the sign for China. She’s an international student here studying forestry at MTU. She walked much of the route with Yi Fei Wu, another Chinese student graduating in December with a degree in data science.

(Joshua Vissers/Daily Mining Gazette) The MTU Muslim Student Association food station, which was among the busiest in Dee Stadium after the parade

Yi Fei said he was proud to participate in the parade this year for the first time. In past years, he’s worked in the kitchen, which he said was also important.

He wished for everyone to enjoy the celebration.

(Joshua Vissers/Daily Mining Gazette) The group representing India in the parade, stopping for a photo along the route.

(Joshua Vissers/Daily Mining Gazette) Representatives of various African countries in the parade.

(Joshua Vissers/Daily Mining Gazette) Keweenaw Faiths United, a group dedicated to peace among different religions, was represented in the parade.

(Joshua Vissers/Daily Mining Gazette) According to organizers, more than 60 countries were represented in Saturday’s parade.

Joshua Vissers/Daily Mining Gazette The Cass Technical High School Marching Band traveled from Detroit to join in the festivity.

(Joshua Vissers/Daily Mining Gazette) Jackie Li, an international grad student in MTU’s Forestry program, represented China in the parade.

(Joshua Vissers/Daily Mining Gazette) Students representing China show off traditional women’s clothing and race a dragon puppet through the street.

(Joshua Vissers/Daily Mining Gazette) Students representing China show off traditional women’s clothing and race a dragon puppet through the street.

(Joshua Vissers/Daily Mining Gazette) The Iranian group strolls by the Downtowner, closely followed by the flag of Israel.

(Joshua Vissers/Daily Mining Gazette) The Husky Pep Band marches through Hancock with their typical high-energy antics.