Pre-Show Dazzles and Delights with Dishes and Dances

Noel Mikkelsen, Layout Artist

One of the most exciting events of the school year is Heritage Night. It is a special night for students and teachers, who come from many different cultures and backgrounds, to gather together, display their heritage, and prove just how diverse Falls Church really is. Many people dress up in their own culture’s clothes and the school really goes all out by plastering decorations and signs for Heritage Night all over the building. This year, the event took place on Friday, February 16. The actual performances didn’t start until 7 p.m. but there was a pre-show at 5:30 p.m. in the cafeteria, which was chock-full of fun activities to engage in.
All sorts of school clubs and Academy classes were present at the pre-show to exhibit what their group is all about. Some of them even brought entertainment to let the attendees have fun with. The Fire and Emergency Service (EMS) Academy class was giving people blood pressure checks just in case someone was nervous about their upcoming performance. The Japanese Club brought games and calligraphy with them and were letting people try them out. One game called “Dobutsu Shogi”, or “Let’s Catch The Lion!”, is a chess-like game on a 3 x 4 board with square pieces that have pictures of different animals on them. The Leadership class was also selling Heritage Night shirts to ecstatic students, a henna tattoo station was set up by the Muslim Student Association, and a piñata even made an appearance.
Food and drinks were also supplied to the hungry attendees if some had decided to skip dinner at home. The food came from all over the world and included items such as falafel, egg rolls, pastel, empanadas, sandwiches, soda, and so much more! Just before the end of the pre-show, a Vietnamese cultural Lion Dance was performed in the cafeteria to mark the start of the Lunar New Year, a celebration known as Tet. The lions led all the spectators down to the theater to be seated and prepare for the amazing performances ahead.
The vibe of the pre-show was absolutely amazing. There seemed to be a lot more people present at this year’s event compared to last year’s. Everyone ate delicious food and socialized with each other. Many of the clubs’ and classes’ booths were filled with people crowding around and trying to learn more about them. The theme of Heritage Night this year was “World Unity” and the pre-show absolutely displayed it in every single aspect.
The Leadership students did a tremendous job putting Heritage Night together this year. There were so many fun activities to take part in and astounding performances to see all throughout the night. It is and will always be one of the greatest events Falls Church puts together. Heritage Night always improves every single year so if you weren’t able to come this time around, there’s already going to be an even better version of it happening in 2019.

Students and families watch a performance while enjoying their food.
(Photo by Curran Gilster)