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February 20, 2007 > EPCOT in Fremont?

EPCOT in Fremont?

By Karthik Raman

Spain, France, England, India, Japan... How much do you know about these countries? An International Exhibit will be held at Centerville Junior High School's Multi-Use Room on February 27 and February 28, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m, The exhibit will provide visitors with an opportunity to learn about these countries and many others! Principal Garo Mirigian has been hosting this event for the past 11 years in which students from countries throughout the world, with others interested in those countries, create exhibits representing area geography, cultures and lifestyles. Information, games, activities, food, and more will be available at the tables. This year, 40 countries will be represented at this free and open to the public event.

The first international exhibit was held in 1996 as the result of visit by Dr. Mirigian to EPCOT Center in Disney World where a lake is surrounded by pavilions of a dozen countries. "You literally go from Paris to London to Tokyo," said Dr. Mirigian. As he visited these pavilions and experienced the different food and cultures, he thought that it would be interesting to host an event similarly structured in the new Multi-Use room at Centerville Junior High School. When he returned to Fremont, the Diversity Task Force of the school was wondering how to demonstrate the growing diversity of the students. Dr. Mirigian suggested an approach similar to Epcot Center.

The task force liked the idea, and decided to make it an annual event, not realizing the enormity of the task. It soon became evident that trying to create this event every year would be too much strain on their resources and it was decided to host the International Festival once every two years. In this way, all classes of the two year school would experience the festival once. It has been hosted once every two years ever since with an attendance of approximately 3,000-4,000 students, parents and community members.

This will be Dr. Mirigian's last International Exhibit since he has scheduled his retirement as principal next year. Therefore he wants to make this year's event as special as possible. Usually there are only 24-25 countries participating but this year there are 40 exhibits representing countries from all six populated continents of the world. This is an event that should not be missed!

International Exhibit
Tuesday, February 27 and Wednesday, February 28
8:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Centerville Junior High School Multi-Use Room
37720 Fremont Blvd., Fremont
(510) 797-2072

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