La Gran Fiesta

Spanish Club dance hosts well over a hundred students

Photo submitted to the Times Observer Siblings Myah and Ricardo Madril hold the Pig Pinata at La Gran Fiesta, an event held on Saturday for students who attend schools in the Warren County School District.

More than 100 students in the Warren County School District may have needed a siesta last weekend to recuperate from an evening full of comida and danza.

Approximately 115 students attended La Gran Fiesta banquet and dance held at the Conewango Club in Warren on Saturday, March 23. Students from all four high schools in the district attended the event.

The event is presented by more than 90 student members of the Warren Area High School Spanish Club.

Gladys Archer, WAHS world language instructor, was thrilled with the student attendance.

“The first year we had the event we had approximately 60 students attend,” Archer said. “Last year we had approximately 80.”

Photo submitted to the Times Observer Adults in attendance at La Gran Fiesta, an event held on Saturday for students who attend schools in the Warren County School District, included: Max Martin of Hispanic Community Council, Jessie Martin (his wife), Gladys Archer (WAHS world language instructor) and Jewel Rozanski.

The menu included Spanish entrees and was presented in a way students would experience if they traveled to Spain.

“The tapas stations were a big hit,” Archer said. “Stations were chosen as opposed to a buffet, to mimic the true feeling of the tapas experience where you go from Cafe to Cafe when eating the different appetizers.”

The most popular items were the croquetas, deep-fried and stuffed with cheese, tomato, and cooked ham, and the Spanish meatballs, according to Archer.

“I had my reservations about including gazpacho on the menu after a previous Spanish club activity wherein students looked up different foods online from Spain and commented that cold soup must be awful,” she said. “However, gazpacho was included and turned out to be quite popular at La Fiesta!”

Ruby Kratz, a ninth grader from Warren High, told Archer that when she first saw the caramel flan she thought it was cheesecake. She was glad she tried it and said it was very good.

In keeping with the authentic Spanish event, students were encouraged to dress accordingly.

The winner of this year’s cultural attire contest was Warren High junior, Myah Madril, who dressed as a historic lady of Spain, according to Archer. She took home the coveted yearly stuffed-pinata.

As is typical for the event, every student was on the dance floor, Archer said. At one point there was a conga line that may go in the records book as Warren’s biggest conga line.

Logan Johnson and Emily Ickert, a freshman and sophomore from WAHS, came dressed as a matador and toro, but looked more like Fred and Ginger on the dance floor, according to Archer.

“Upon our return to school, many students commented on having enjoyed the guest speaker’s address,” Archer said. “Max Martin, a native of the Dominican Republic, professor at Jamestown Community College, and president of the Jamestown and Dunkirk Hispanic Community Council

was the night’s guest speaker. He spoke with students about the urgent need for Spanish/English bilingual speakers in area businesses, education, and service, as well as the importance of volunteering.”

Archer said many students expressed how much they enjoyed the event.

“Students have also asked me about adding additional local cultural events to the yearly calendar,” she said. “We are currently in the process of putting together a relaxed Spanish cafe for the fall, styled after traditional coffee houses, with Spanish karaoke, Spanish trivia, and Spanish poetry readings.”

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