Families Transported Around the World at International Festival
The International Festival transformed the School into a miniature United Nations of Allen-Stevenson, transporting families to countries all over the world on February 23.
Different floors were designated as continents with walls decorated with flags and wall-size photographs of the countries represented. To truly experience each country, visitors stopped at the many country tables where they could sample food, try their hand at arts and crafts, and read and hear about what makes each country unique.
Upon entering Africa, the sound of Djembe drums filled the air, a wise grandpa storyteller shared tales in his hut, and faces were painted with vibrant images. In Europe, a greeting by the royal family could be followed by threading amber beads from Poland to make bracelets, a taste of Italian Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and a lesson about the Welsh dragon. Australia welcomed guests with the deep sounds of the didgeridoo and a chance to create one’s own aboriginal art. The Middle East shared a number of traditions and historical facts. Visitors could make a wish at the West Bank wall, dig for fossils in Israel and learn about the seven items placed on a Persian new year table in Iran. Heading to Asia, guests could take a photo as they had a quick boxing round with the famous Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao, try their hand at calligraphy in China and learn about the carrom board in India. The Americas offered basketball in the USA and dominoes in Jamaica, with Peru showing their soccer pride while making flags.
Not to be missed was the Dining Room, with a feast beyond imagination comprised of dishes from every corner of the world…a true testament to the diverse international footprint of the Allen-Stevenson community.
To close, travelers were treated to an extravaganza of global dancing and music. There were colorful Bollywood dancers, high-stepping Irish River dancers, acrobatic Breakdancers and rhythmic Brazilian Batucada Drummers and Capoeiristas.
This impressive event took a village to organize, with many thanks to all the families who participated as a host or volunteer to create this magical cultural experience. Huge thanks also to the Upper School boys, the performing artists, and to the staff who made the School safe and ready for our families to celebrate and learn.
An extra special thank you goes to the Festival Co-Chairs – Alison Coen Searcy, Priya Gogia and Sonal Mehta – as well as PA Executive Board members, Liz Steinberg, Audrey Rasch, Amy Peck, and Mase Kerdel-DeMarco.