Latino heritage celebration at The Fair
Latino heritage celebration at The Fair
Posted on 08/30/2018

Puyallup School District will host Latino Heritage Celebration at the Washington State Fair

Each fall, Puyallup residents have their senses teased with the smell of grilled onions, the taste of warm scones, and the sights and sounds of children screaming as they ride the giant roller coaster. Commonly known in the school district as “Fair Day,” students and staff are dismissed from school early one day during the Washington State Fair to enjoy the celebration and fun of what locals call “The Puyallup Fair.”

This fall, it will be no different.

On September 12, 2018 the Puyallup School District will take over the Pavilion at the Washington State Fair and highlight student achievement through performances, displays, and hands-on activities. The unique partnership between the district and the fair has provided families with greater access to the annual fall fair, and has given the district an opportunity to feature students and their accomplishments in a popular and well-attended venue.

This year, the district will approach this opportunity with a different purpose and new objectives.

Capitalizing on the success of Culture & Arts Festivals held at the district’s Karshner Museum and Center for Culture & Arts, PSD will present Dia de la Raza, a Latino Heritage Celebration. This will be a celebration of the many cultures which make up Latino and Hispanic identities across the Americas.

On September 12, PSD will host a festival with the following objectives in mind:

  • Educate visitors on Latino and Hispanic culture
  • Highlight student achievement in the school district
  • Honor Puyallup’s Spanish-speaking community
  • Engage visitors in learning
  • Highlight district programs including: English Language Learners (ELL), Spanish courses, Office of Equity and Achievement, the arts, Language Immersion K-1 classes, Literacy, Karshner Museum and Center for Culture & Arts

Visitors to the Pavilion will quickly realize the festival’s theme. Professional musicians, dancers, and singers will alternate with student performers on the main stage. The entertainment will be non-stop with eager performer warming up between scheduled performances.

This festival will be modeled after the very successful Culture & Arts Festivals held at the district’s Karshner Museum and Center for Culture & Arts. On September 12, as in previous years at the Karshner Center, Dia de la Raza will feature:

  • Dance instructors from Bailadores de Bronce, Washington’s premier company of Mexican dance.
  • Special Ballet Folklorico performances by elementary students.
  • Sin Embargo a lively instrumental quartet performing the music of Cuba, Mexico, Venezuela, Colombia, and Argentina.
  • Dance instructor and choreographer Vanessa Villalobos and Salsa champion dancer Eduardo Aguirre.
  • A live mariachi band, Huenachi from Wenatchee High School.

This fall, at the arts and crafts tables students will try their skill at projects created in the styles of amate bark painting, papel picado cut-paper designs, pinata-making, and Huichol-inspired yarn paintings.

In the teaching and learning station visitors will learn Spanish vocabulary and listen to stories and read aloud books from some of Puyallup’s bi-lingual educators and Spanish students.

Nearby, at the Karshner Museum station, visitors will engage with artifacts from the district’s collection and try to determine their purpose. A museum artifact specialist will guide learners with questions and answers about unique items on display. They will also guide visitors in handling some artifacts themselves.

Large screen monitors will provide visuals and tell the stories of previous Dia de la Raza celebrations held at the Karshner Center.

High school Spanish class students and volunteers will engage visitors with games and conversation. World maps will allow visitors to record their family’s ancestry.

The festivities will include music, dance, and art activities from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. Visitors will be immersed in a cultural experience thanks to the coordination and involvement of educators from across the Puyallup School District.

We hope you will join us on September 12 at the Washington State Fairgrounds for the Puyallup School District’s Dia de la Raza!