Just days after her arrival on U.S. soil, Ambassador Nicole Bintner-Bakshian traveled to Wisconsin for her first official visit as the Ambassador of Luxembourg to the United States. There she attended the 35th Luxembourg Fest in the village of Belgium. The event is an annual celebration of Luxembourgish culture and heritage and includes a parade, live music, street market, kids’ zone, food, wine and beer tasting, and the world’s largest treipen eating contest. Members of the Luxembourg diaspora from all over the United States travel to this annual gathering, organized by the Luxembourg American Cultural Society. The evening culminates with the annual ‘Green Heart Gala’, an important fundraising event in good company, tasty food and live auctions.
In addition, the Ambassador visited the Luxembourg American Cultural Centre in Belgium, where she met with Board members. The center contains the most comprehensive resources on emigration from Luxembourg to America and its exhibit tells the story of Luxembourg, past and present, as well as of the impact of Luxembourg immigrants and their descendants on life in America. By 1900, some 72000 Luxembourgers, one third of the country’s population, had emigrated to the United States in search of a better life in the New World. Today the Americans of Luxembourg descent outnumber Luxembourg citizens in Luxembourg.
During her visit, Ambassador Bintner-Bakshian also held several meetings, facilitated by Mike Ansay, Honorary Consul of Luxembourg in Wisconsin, on various economic initiatives, including a Luxembourg start-up investment fund. The Ambassador also took a tour of the Luxembourg heritage sites in Ozaukee County, Wisconsin.