Hmong Fair in Maplewood on Saturdayby Rupa Shenoy, Minnesota Public Radio
Maplewood, Minn. — More than 2,500 people are expected to attend the 10th annual Hmong Fair today. Organizers have 2,000 meals prepared for the event.
The fair got its start a decade ago as a large family gathering to distribute information about how to connect with resources in Minnesota.
The fair has expanded and added more features as the Hmong community grew larger and more settled. This year there's also a large job fair. Fair executive director Kazoua Kong-Thao said the community has been hit hard by the recession.
"We've also seen the demographic change from more needy families to more higher education, so we have higher educated folks attending our event," Kong-Thao said. "What we actually hear is that folks are now more savvy about getting services. They're asking more questions and wanting more information than they've had in the past."
The free event is open to anyone. It runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Aldrich Arena, 1850 North White Bear Avenue, Maplewood, Minn.