On Friday, May 5, 2017, members of Riverside’s Multicultural Leadership Club, led by Ms. Catherine Yamamoto, celebrated the school’s diversity by hosting a Japanese Spring Festival in the school cafeteria.

The festival was held in similar fashion to the Night Market held every year in November, with plenty of entertainment and food. Unlike the Night Market, however, which has become a perennial annual event at Riverside that has been held for nine years in a row, this was the Multicultural Leadership Club’s first ever Japanese Spring Festival.

“I hope it is the beginning of another great tradition at Riverside, like our Night Market, which will be celebrating its 10th year in the fall,” said Yamamoto.

The festivities kicked off at 4:00 in the afternoon with a variety of performances, for which entry was free of charge. The show was emceed by Kelsea Vance, and included Japanese dancing from Erin Wu, Japanese story telling by Nathalie Kaspar and Erin Wu, some pop hits performed by members of Riverside’s Music Fusion class, and rock music performed by Riverside students and alumni, which included former Editor-in-chief of the Eddy, Justin Smith.

After all the performances concluded, the festival then proceeded to food and games. A variety of Japanese dishes were served at individual food booths set up around the cafeteria. All of the food was vegetarian and home-made by members of Multicultural Leadership. Activities found in the Games Corner included chess, mahjong, and cards.

When all was said and done, the Multicultural Leadership Club wrapped everything up before 7:00, prior to Riverside’s 12 hour wake-a-thon that same evening.

“I am very happy that we had our Japan Festival, organised by our Japanese international students,” said Yamamoto, “It gave them an opportunity to take on more responsibilities and really understand how much time and thought has to go into planning an event. The Japanese food was delicious, and sure to be a hit again next time.”

The Spring Festival was truly a show of Riverside’s tradition of multiculturalism, something all students can be proud of.