Although many MVHS students spend a great deal of time complaining about the “Cupertino bubble” they live in, they don’t always take the time to appreciate the diverse community.
Cupertino’s annual Silicon Valley Fall Festival is a remarkable time of the year when the community comes together to celebrate all the aspects that the city is so well-known for: diversity, technology, education, public recreation and the list goes on. Held on Sept. 12 at Memorial Park, this year’s Fall Festival marked the 60th anniversary of the ever-changing city. With the upcoming modern move with the Hills at Vallco plans, Cupertino’s 60th birthday called for a special celebration that could embody the essence of the whole 11.26 square mile town in one grassy circle.
“Alright, wonderful! Now you dip the brush in more water and paint another stroke to connect the fish’s tail and it’s body,” said one volunteer at the Chinese Cultural booth. As the volunteer explains the process of painting a Koi fish, a bewildered child listens attentively, inspired by the styles of traditional Chinese painting. The Chinese Cultural booth grew plastered with kids’ paintings as the day went by, every painting a new interpretation of nature inspired by traditional roots.
The Cupertino Rotary’s Fall Festival worked to promote the cultural diversity of the community. Cultural booths from India, Israel, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Taiwan, Iran, Japan, Kyrgyzstan, Sri Lanka and Ukraine offered not only global perspectives, but also prizes such as stickers and souvenirs for kids during games.
Whether festival goers were looking for arts and crafts or informative knowledge, there was a little bit of something for everyone. While some of these booths aimed to provide information on current events that allowed visitors to experience the culture of their country, others taught kids simple traditional crafts.
Integrating with local FUHSD schools is the most recent addition to the festival’s lineup of attractions. As a part of the celebration, visitors had the opportunity to participate in robotics and fine arts competitions. This allowed for students to interact with past and (potential) future friends and community members with similar interests, as well as display all their hard work to their friends and family.
For a moment, a burst of giggles and shrieks drowned out the sound of the jubilant trumpets of the Fremont High School Marching band. The fun atmosphere for families was one of the largest attractions of the fall festival. Though the sky was cloudy and overcast, the atmosphere was radiating with excitement as kids scurried about the bouncy house. A little girl in a soft pink dress tilted her head back just far enough so the world flipped at a sixty degree angle. Sticking her tongue out at her mom who is casually watching behind the gate, the world spun around and around her about the rhythm of the small teacup ride.
Of course with all of the food, laughter and relationship building, representatives from Cupertino’s public safety and recreation didn’t miss out on the chance to interact with members of the community.
“[The celebration] is a mix of [recognizing] our innovation and our agricultural past, so we’re trying to remember our heritage,” Peter Coglianese, disaster service worker, said.
This event was a token of remembrance for the cross between technological and agricultural innovation of Cupertino’s history, and the Health & Safety Zone highlighted important aspects of safety.
Quite a large step away from the annual Oktoberfests a decade ago, the Silicon Valley Fall Festival is no longer just a bunch of beer drinking and polka dancing. Instead, the lively event provided a family friendly multicultural atmosphere for education and entertainment.
“Our city compared to cities around the world is still very young… we’re doing a lot of great things, from the Hills of Vallco to the new Apple campus, Cupertino is known for leading edge things,” Orrin Mahoney, current Rotary club member and former two time Mayor of Cupertino, said. “It’s a great city, and we tried to have this event reflect all of the parts of it.”