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Annual festival showcases international appreciation

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Alexandria Orozco
Staff Writer

The Claremont McKenna College Quadrangle was filled with the tastes and sounds of cultures from around the world on Saturday afternoon.

Families came to the college’s 33rd annual International Festival to enjoy the sunshine and the family-oriented activities it had to offer.

“I love seeing students so involved in representing and showcasing their own country,” Joan Gerard, chairwoman for the bakery booth, said.

“They have a real pride in their home country and wanting to share that with the international community.”

Emily Fay, a volunteer for the International Place program at the Claremont Colleges, said that this group helped put on the event with the help of various colleges and community volunteers.

Students from similar ethnic backgrounds joined together to form booths and sell food that best represented their heritage.

The immense outdoor food fair filled the Quadrangle with mouth-watering aromas.

The fair featured cultural food from over 24 different countries.

The countries included in the fair were Argentina, Germany, China, Mexico, Korea, Turkey, Russia, Italy and Brazil.

Some crowd favorites included nachos from Mexico, bulgogi, rice and kim chi from Korea and the beer and wine garden from Germany for guests 21 and over.

“Two things bring me out here today: the opportunity to see all the great diversity of culture here in the colleges and a lot of great food,” La Verne alumnus and Boy Scout Troop 403 Leader Tom Babineau said.

Babineau and his troop helped set up stoves and fires to cook the food for the event.

The fun did not stop with delicious food. Live entertainment was also provided throughout the event.

The first performers were the Copali-Copili Aztec dancers who treated the audience to a dance that expressed their indigenous Mexican roots.

This was followed by a dragon dance, Bollywood dancers, Brazilian fight dances and a performance by the Mariachi Divas.

This event catered to the entire family with its inclusion of live storytelling, face painting, craft making and flower crown making for younger children.

A guest appearance from Petals the clown made children smile and sent them clamoring into a line for balloons with their parents trailing behind.

“I bring my whole family along, not just my Boy Scouts,” Babineau said.

“My three daughters are here too; one is getting her face painted right now.”

Jenna Bustamante, student service assistant at International Place, was in charge of organizing the entertainment lineup for the event and helping the different groups choose what to put on their menu.

“I hope people get to experience different cultures at this event, see some great performers and come out with the community and socialize,” Bustamante said.

International Place created a cultural melting pot, even if it was only for one day.

The program’s motto, “where the world comes together,” perfectly depicted the true essence of their International Festival.

Alexandria Orozco can be reached at

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