Celtic music blares. Students hold onto their plates of arepas, chicken makhani and crispitos. Flags wave in the warm September breeze. That can only mean one thing — its Culture Fest.
On September 18, the annual event took place on Kennedy Union Central Mall. Under a large white tent, students, faculty and community members enjoyed music, cuisine and conversation that highlighted the diversity of the University of Dayton.
Every year, Culture Fest presents a variety of acts ranging from cultural dances to national anthems.
“We perform at Culture Fest every year. It’s one of our favorite events of the year. It’s so cool to get to see all of the different clubs and ethnicities come together, show off what they can do. It’s always a really great time,” said sophomore Taylor Sain, a member of the UD Irish Dance Team.
After performing their routine, the team taught the audience how to do a jig of their own.
Junior Alexandria Bennett looked forward to singing “Summertime” and “All of Me” by Ella Fitzgerald, as well as “I’m Here” from The Color Purple.
Bennett shared, “I decided to pick three songs performed by African-American females and women that I see as strong and inspiring, who have great stories and who have influenced music even into what we see today,”
Performances were not the only items on the lineup. One of the biggest attractions each year is the menu. Attendees got the opportunity to try ethnic dishes that they may have never had. This year’s spread consisted of eight foods from eight nationalities.
Under one tent stood groups of people with varying ethnicities, nationalities and backgrounds. But more importantly, under one tent stood one united community— the UD community.
Culture Fest is sponsored by the Multi-Ethnic Education and Engagement Center, Center for International Programs, Dining Services, Center for Student Involvement, Housing and Residence Life, Campus Recreation, Institute of Applied Creativity for Transformation (IACT), Women’s Center, New Student Programs, Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Hanley Sustainability Institute and Student Government Association.