Eighth annual BryWorld Culture Festival draws 2,000 in celebration of more than 20 cultures


Brywood Elementary School recently celebrated the diversity in its community with the eighth annual BryWorld Culture Festival.

Organizers say roughly 2,000 guests attended the May 4 event, including students, staff, parents and community members. Meanwhile, 22 countries and ethnicities were represented with booths featuring authentic food, clothes, photos and memorabilia.

As has become tradition, Brywood students filled out passports that were stamped at each stop, and singers and dancers entertained from the main stage. This year’s theme was “Many Cultures … One BryWorld.”

Brywood parent Gigi Labus said a committee of more than 50 parent-volunteers spent countless hours cooking, rehearsing and organizing to create the multicultural experience. Afghanistan, China, Colombia, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Iran, Italy, Japan, Korea, Lebanon, Mexico, Pakistan, Philippines, Sweden, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Vietnam and the U.S. were all represented, as was Native American culture.

“This event was started eight years ago by three Brywood moms who had a dream to celebrate the cultures in their school community,” Labus said. “They started something that has grown each year due to the continued interest of Brywood families. Lenore Hittelmen, Satomi Connelly and Beth Yamamuro were the founders of this event and can still be seen attending and volunteering even though their children have graduated from Brywood.”

Additional photos from the event have been posted on The Orange County Register’s website. You can find them by clicking here.