When Banda Vagos took the stage at Denny International Middle School last night toward the end of Denny’s first-ever Posada Navideña holiday celebration, teacher Roxana Amaral had extra reasons to be proud. Not only did she help organize the Posada, with lots and lots of volunteers also part of hte effort, she explained regarding the band: “That’s my family.” Doubtless there were some among the estimated 150 attendees who hadn’t heard the rollicking banda style of Mexican music before – and that would be part of the event’s success, according to Denny principal Jeff Clark, seen here with some of the many volunteers and organizers:
Clark stressed, talking with us during the three-hour celebration, that it was more of what an “international” school is about – celebrating a culture’s rich traditions, with participants of many cultures. One big hit, literally, was the piñata-whacking right after the potluck dinner:
To avoid too much of a crazy scramble once the piñata was finally open, candy was handed out in a somewhat-more-orderly fashion. Raffle prizes were announced from the stage, by Amaral and young helpers:
(Amaral leads Proyecto Saber (explained here) at Denny.) In addition to the prizes, food, labor, and entertainment for the night also were donated, all to make it a more successful fundraiser for the Denny PTSA. That entertainment, incidentally, included mariachi music from Mariachi Seattle Azteca as well as the aforementioned banda group:
While we didn’t get there early enough for a look at the many traditional Mexican dishes brought for the potluck, the desserts remained in abundance:
Organizers hope the Posada will become an annual tradition for Denny – and if they do indeed have it again next year, they’ll be in the school’s brand-new building, getting close to completion on the Chief Sealth International High School campus across the street – with move-in scheduled immediately after this school year ends, so that, according to principal Clark, summer programs can be held in the new building and many members of the Denny community will be quite well acclimated to it by the time next school year starts in September 2011.