Fashion show highlights Banner CultureFest

Adam Larck
Students pose for pictures after the fashion show.

April 8 was all about culture at Banner Elementary School.

The day, which started off with a “World Tour,” ended with a fashion show by the students.

During school, parents explained various cultures from 16 different countries.

That evening, students, parents and community members came out to participate in CultureFest. The last time the event was hosted was three years ago.

Principal Greg Fairchild said when the CultureFest was last hosted, only 10 countries were represented. This year, 15 countries had displays set up.

According to Sisi Mereness, the coordinator of the event, all the country displays were set up by parents. While she did try to set some requirements for the booths, such as using a panel to include information on, she said a lot of parents also brought in items specific to their country to see as well.

“I really tried to get them to support their country in the weekly newsletters,” she said. “At the last minute, three countries just showed up to participate. I think we would have had more come out if we had more time, and I think more will come out next year. I think when people see the success of it, there will be more people and more participation.”

Besides setting up displays, many of the parents also cooked food native to their country for the community to try. Throughout most of the night, the line to sample the food stretched throughout the hallway.

“I couldn’t believe the amount of food people brought,” Mereness said. “We weren’t sure at first if we should do a potluck or have a few people cook and charge for the event.”

At 6:30, while people were still waiting for food, a bagpipe player started playing in the hallway to signal the start of the fashion show. The show featured students wearing garb native to the country they were representing.

“I think everybody liked the fashion show,” Mereness said. “About three weeks ago, we had five entries, but we had over 40 by last week.”

After the fashion show, the students posed for a group picture while the totals were tallied for the silent auction. The silent auction had families making cultural dinners for other families to enjoy.

“We had a really good silent auction,” Mereness said.