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Cultural celebrations today in Willmar, Minn.

Marketing and sales management student Kleme Yarh sets up his display Monday at the Willmar Community Center. The set-up was a practice run for International Day from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. today when exhibits the students created -- representing 10 nations -- will be on display for the public. Some of the students will wear traditional attire from the nation they represent. (Monday at the Willmar Community Center. The set-up was a practice run for International Day from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. today when exhibits ...

International Day

Marketing students from Ridgewater College will present an International Day event from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. today at the Willmar Community and Activity Center. Admission is free.

The event will be hosted by students in the International Business Class, according to instructor Vicki Melbye.

The class has held previous events at the Ridgewater campus but decided to move it into the community this year, Melbye said. Having it at the Community Center makes it more convenient for visitors, she added.

The displays from Germany, Mexico, England, South Korea, India, Norway, France, Somalia, China, Japan and Sweden have been developed by the nearly 20 students, and their projects contribute to their final grade in the marketing class.

Melbye said the International Day helps the students gain valuable experience in developing special events.

"It's really truly hand-on learning," she said. "I think it's going to be a fun day; they've all put a lot of work into it."

The booths will include treats, games and other activities. Jennie-O Turkey Store is a sponsor and has donated prizes.

Cinco de Mayo festival

A free community celebration of Cinco de Mayo will be held at the Willmar Middle School grounds from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

This is the sixth annual Cinco de Mayo celebration.

Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Mexican army's unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862.

Some popular attractions will return for the family-friendly event, including a jalapeno eating contest and the Willmar Idol singing contest. Also returning are Aztec dancers and folkloric dancers.

An impersonator of the famous Mexican singer Juan Gabriel will perform.

Food from a variety of Willmar businesses will be available. There will be an arts and crafts area for children. Inflatable bouncers and a rock-climbing wall will be available.

In case of rain, the celebration will be moved to Kennedy Elementary School.

Proceeds from the event are used to provide scholarships for area high school students.