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The Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration’s Immigration Task Force will hold its second annual People Fest from noon to 5 p.m. Aug. 4 at Riverside Park in hopes of bringing the La Crosse community together.

The high attendance last year surprised Pat Ruda, who works with the Sisters and said, “We hope for a great turnout this year, (and we’re) trying to make the community welcoming of all people.”

People Fest represents a chance for community members to enjoy free entertainment, such as Irish and Hmong dancers, “Groupo Cabana” and ukulele performers. It also presents a chance to learn more about these and other cultures, as well as the sisters’ involvement in modern issues.

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“We want to give voice to the issues of immigration and diversity,” said Ruda, describing the Immigration Task Force that has been several years running within the Franciscan Sisters. The Taskforce encourages discussions through Community Conversations and Chance to Share programs in La Crosse and Arcadia. The sisters also participated in the Catholic Day of Action on Immigration in Washington, D.C., earlier this month, as well as testified in hearings considering Wisconsin providing illegal immigrants driver’s licenses.

Based in La Crosse, the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration work internationally, “living the Gospel through contemplation and action.”

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