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Pittsburgh Folk Festival

Pittsburgh Folk Festival was established on June 9, 1956, to showcase and preserve the ethnic heritage of Western Pennsylvania and is the second oldest International Festival in the United States. It is a proud tradition of Pittsburgh and has just celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2006. Although China was not one of the Charter members, China’s participation can be traced back at least more than 40 years. China was represented by the local chapter of Organization of Chinese Americans since the establishment of OCA local chapter in 1978. The first PFF was held on June 9-10, 1956, at the Syria Mosque in Oakland and Duquesne University assumed sponsorship of the Festival. In 1961, Robert Morris College became the new sponsor and continued the sponsorship for thirty years. The 25th Anniversary was held at the Civic Arena in 1962. From 1981 on, the Pittsburgh Folk Festival was held at different locations every three years due to contractual agreements. Those locations included the Amphitheatre at Station Square, the Expo Mart in Monroeville, David L. Lawrence Convention Center, and Heinz Field. Because of the budget constraint, the non-profit corporation Robert Morris College established was offered to the sixteen nationality groups that participated in the 1991 event and officially ended the sponsorship of Robert Morris College. The majority of the sixteen nationality groups voted a resounding YES to continue the Pittsburgh Folk Festival. Transfer of the corporation was completed in 1991 and a Board of Directors was elected by the member groups to run the festival.