Celebrate Heritage And Freedom At The 2024 Hmong International Freedom Festival

By Kim Yang







Mark your calendars for one of the most anticipated cultural events of the year. The 2024 Hmong International Freedom Festival, affectionately known as J4 (short for July 4th), is set to take place on June 29th and 30th at McMurray Field in St. Paul, Minnesota. This annual celebration is more than just a festival; it’s a vibrant gathering that honors the rich history and enduring spirit of the Hmong community.

A Tradition Of Unity And Celebration

For 42 years, the Hmong International Freedom Festival has been a beacon of cultural pride and community unity. What began as a small gathering has grown into a massive event attracting Hmong people from Minnesota, Wisconsin, California, and beyond. It symbolizes not only the celebration of freedom but also the preservation and promotion of Hmong heritage.

What To Expect At J4

Whether you are a long-time attendee or a newcomer, the festival offers an array of attractions that promise a memorable experience for all.

Sports And Competitions

The festival is renowned for its diverse sports competitions. From soccer and volleyball to traditional Hmong sports like tuj lub (top spinning), the event showcases athletic prowess and fosters a spirit of friendly competition. Teams travel from various states to participate, making it a truly national event.

Cultural Performances

Experience the beauty of Hmong culture through traditional music, dance, and fashion shows. Performers don intricate, colorful costumes, bringing to life the stories and traditions passed down through generations. These performances are not only entertaining but also educational, offering a glimpse into the rich tapestry of Hmong history and customs.

New this year is the Zoo Siab Music Fest in the Beer Garden. Concerts feature local Hmong artists – both young and old. Listen to Hmong music and see the development of instruments in the Hmong culture throughout the generations before your eyes each day at the Music Fest. Including sounds from DJ Saint Paul, Ali Chang, Art Lee, Betty Thao, Destiny Band, Douachi Yang, GY Yang, Huab Xiong, Jack GV, Johnny Lo, Kenji Her, Kevin Knoxx, Lmo, NewSong, Pong Vang, ShaShee Yang, Supryze, Qab Choj, Zoo V, Immortal Brothers, DJ Dance Music and many more.

Food And Craft Vendors

No festival is complete without delicious food, and J4 is no exception. Savor a variety of Hmong delicacies, from savory sausages to sticky rice and papaya salad. In addition to the culinary delights, the festival features numerous craft vendors selling traditional Hmong textiles, jewelry, and other handmade goods. These stalls provide a perfect opportunity to take home a piece of Hmong culture.

Community And Networking

Beyond the entertainment and activities, the festival serves as a vital networking hub for the Hmong community. J4 is a place to reconnect with old friends, make new ones, and celebrate shared heritage. Community organizations also set up booths to provide information on health, education, and social services, making the festival an important resource for attendees.

The Cultural Significance Of J4

The Hmong International Freedom Festival holds profound cultural significance. It commemorates the Hmong people’s quest for freedom and their enduring resilience. For many, it is a time to reflect on the struggles faced by previous generations and to celebrate the freedoms enjoyed today. The festival is a testament to the strength and unity of the Hmong community, reinforcing a sense of identity and belonging.

Join The Celebration

The 2024 Hmong International Freedom Festival promises to be a weekend filled with joy, camaraderie, and cultural pride. Whether you are part of the Hmong community or simply interested in experiencing a unique and vibrant cultural event, J4 welcomes you with open arms.

Come and be part of this extraordinary celebration of freedom, culture, and community. Admission is free and there is convenient parking (paid parking) with shuttle buses at the Minnesota State Fair parking lot.

For more information and updates, visit the official Hmong International Freedom Festival website at www.theunitedhmongfamily.org

Don’t miss this chance to immerse yourself in the rich traditions and lively spirit of the Hmong community. See you at McMurray Field!

Images courtesy United Hmong Family and Andrew L. Xiong Photography.

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