Experiencing the World Around You: The International Festival

Ally Hayes, Writer, Photographer

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Students and parents alike enjoyed food and entertainment from various cultures at the International Festival, but before the festivities began, students and faculty were working hard to make the entire festival come together.

Weeks prior, kids were memorizing songs in different languages, practicing dances from different cultures, and reenacting historical events all in preparation for performance. Sign up sheets were posted in each language hall classroom asking for volunteers to work shifts serving food, performing, or participating in the fashion show. Teachers spent afternoons and mornings going over routines with their students, directing and giving pointers. Others volunteered to help run the show or make food for the eating portion of the evening. With all the hard work put into making the festival happen, Wednesday night it finally did.

For the performers, the festivities began immediately after school. Can-Can Girls and German Club kids stayed behind after school to go over final runs and prepare for the evening. Frantic girls in Can-Can skirts and fishnet leggings hurriedly applied heavy makeup to one another and tied hair back in buns, other French Club members ran the halls attempting to set up food tables. German Club kids… were pretty laid back, actually. A group of Latin club members were even so calm they just sat and played card games while waiting for their pizza to arrive. Then the clock struck six.

Families were arriving to enjoy the evening, all the while students in various traditional clothing from countries across the planet ran around, shoving as much food in their face as they could before their performances. At 7:00 that night, the announcement came that the fashion show was about to start.

Models such as Sarah and Lorin Carter, Juanita Monteiro-Pai, Aidan Lay, Love Lundy, Romain Baudry, and Britt Bogers participated in showing off traditional garb. The Spanish IV class performed their interpretation of a myth told in Spanish speaking countries. Regan Harris, Ashley King, and Love Lundy are just a few of the vocal acts that performed that night. Regan Harris with a love ballad in Spanish, Ashley King singing a song from the Greatest Showman translated into French, and Love Lundy singing a jazz version of an African opera.

The entire festival came to a close with the annual can-can dance held by the French students. The festival wrapped up with the flipping of skirts to reveal short-covered bottoms with duct taped letters on them spelling out the French phrase, “C’est la fin!”

French teacher, Madame Mooney stated that she had participated in the festival for sixteen years. When asked about this year in comparison, she said, “This year we had more acts, so we had a lot more students willing to participate. As far as how it compares, crowds were about the same, but there was definitely more participation from the students.”

Spanish Club member, Lorin Carter said that she had most looked forward to seeing the different kinds of foods and cultures. She also said that her favorite part of the festival was being able to participate in the events and enjoy the various cultures represented there.

It was a successful event that promoted diversity and understanding, and the World Language department did a great job of feeding and entertaining the audience.

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