KATY MAGAZINE NEWS
October 14, 2020
By Natalie Cook Clark
Tonight, a Katy elementary school takes its popular International Festival to the streets. The mobile event allows the community to celebrate dozens of cultures through a festive parade roughly the length of three football fields.
Brent Buss, Pattison mascot Bolt, Priscilla de Leo in Venezuelan dress, and Ellie Bus are ready for the parade. Photo courtesy: Allisyn Decatur
For three years, Katy’s Pattison Elementary has celebrated culture with its International Festival.
“It has become one of the most beloved events of the year with dozens of booths representing the talents, cuisine, and culture of the many countries that make up our student body at Pattison,” says PTA Vice President of Programs, Darcie Vlahos.
PTAs Get Creative During Pandemic
The International Festival attracted over a thousand guests last year and brings the community together to celebrate diversity in a fun environment. Due to the pandemic, local PTAs, like at Pattison Elementary, have had to get creative to save favorite traditions and events while staying safe this year.
Tonight, October 14, Katy families can line up safely along the designated parade route and see the International Car Parade that will depart Pattison Elementary at 6:30 p.m.
“Due to current circumstances, we are not able to host the event and decided we would reimagine it into a car parade,” says Vlahos.
The PTA took inspiration from popular birthday parades so many students have enjoyed.
Participating families will decorate their vehicles to represent the country they requested. 34 vehicles and 26 countries will be included in the parade. A playlist with songs from each country will be playing during the parade.
Families can easily track the parade via the QR code on the map below or follow the schedule here.
The Parade Route:
Parade Hopes to Unite Community
“We are not alone, we relate to each other,” says International Festival Parade Chair Maru Lara. “It doesn’t matter where you come from it is unity that makes us stronger.”
Lara will be representing Mexico in the parade.
“This is a spark of light when we all need it,” says Lara. “We’re so happy to be able to bring this event to our community.”
Countries included in the International Festival Parade: Greece, Argentina, South Africa, Pakistan, Poland, Norway, China, Canada, Lithuania, USA, Iran, England, Germany, Japan, Italy, Indonesia, Korea, Trinidad and Tobago, New Zealand, Canada, Vietnam, Ireland, Mexico, Jamaica, Venezuela, and Albania.