Snapshots of Culture Fest

Folk dancers at Culture Fest.

Photo by Jim Drake
Folk dancers at Culture Fest.

This year’s Culture Fest at Columbia Gorge Community College was indeed a Kaleidoscope of vibrant color, dance and community interaction.

Held last Thursday afternoon at the Hood River campus, festival goers were treated to an extended performance from the Mid Valley Mexican Folk Dancers, a Japanese Culture table with hands-on origami learning (I made a frog!), a chance to network with English language learners and learn about their Mexican hometowns, Providence-sponsored community health tables where volunteers were collecting health needs assessment feedback forms, ethnic jewelry displays, a variety of fresh fruit and drinks, face painting, music from several bands, and an opportunity to learn about the Hood River Sister City program. You could even pick up a voter registration form, if you wanted.

With great determination and resistance to the chilly winds, the crowds braved the elements to enjoy three dance groups outside in the parking lot: the kindergarten/first grade Palomitas, the second/third grade Polka Chicas, and the fourth-fifth grade Los Sonas. If the quantity of pictures seem to be a bit heavy leaning toward the dancers, I just need to say that it may be physically impossible to resist taking “too many” photos of these talented kids.


Providence Diversity Committee members Gladys Rivera and Lorena Ruiz were on hand collecting health information forms, distributing healthy eating flyers and running a spin the wheel game for kids prizes.


Activities included face painting and a lesson from sophomore student Omar Calixto, who taught origami paper folding at the Japanese culture table.


Student Activities Director Kelly Sullivan welcomes the crowd.


Mexican Folk Dancers from Mid Valley Elementary School were in full force at the May 19 Culture Fest at Columbia Gorge Community College.


Sandy Salazar introduced each folk dancer to the crowd. She has been a teacher and dance instructor for 18 years at Mid Valley Elementary. “I tried to retire a few years ago, but the kids won’t let me,” she said.

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