PTSA prepares increased food and performance variety for IFF


Noah Lee

Indian Student Association members freshman Norah Chowdhury (left) and senior Krisi Patel practice a traditional Indian choreography for their International Food Fair performance in front of the gym Thursday, Jan. 26.

For the first time, the annual International Food Fair [IFF] and assembly will be held on a Friday next week with an increased number of students participating in performances as well as food and drink offerings, organizers said.

“IFF was held on Thursdays in the past, and we decided to hold it on Friday so people can relax afterward,” said Amy Choi-Won, IFF chairwoman and Parent Teacher Student Association [PTSA] member. “Also, recruiting parent volunteers might be easier if the event takes place on Friday.”

Even though Friday, Feb. 10, will lead into a holiday weekend that includes the following Monday off because of Abraham Lincoln’s birthday, school officials expect most parents will keep their children at school instead of leaving early to travel somewhere for a four-day break.

The Friday schedule consists of a double second period assembly showcasing six cultural performances and a 50-minute extended lunch break.

Contrary to the previous year’s triple assembly schedule and lunch break between fifth and sixth period, this year’s schedule includes a double assembly and lunch in between fourth and fifth period, according to the Sunny Hills High School website.

“I’m excited for everyone to see all the hard work that we’ve done in the past few months because this year, we decided to have more people perform,” Latinx club president Ariana Lopez said. “More males joined this year, so we decided to plan three different dances instead of just one singular dance.”

Following the Latinx club’s performance, the members will sell churros and ice cream together for three to four tickets between the 80s and 100s wing.

The Indian Student Association [ISA] will perform six dances that encompass different cultures and traditions across South Asia.

“I hope the audience will gain insight into the beauty of South Asian culture,” ISA club president Krisi Patel said. “We hope to showcase a Bollywood fusion through our colorful and energetic performance; our performers have worked extremely hard, and we can’t wait for students to experience Indian culture.”

The IFF organizers and clubs hope to educate students on cultural diversity through the various performances, with dancers in each of their traditional clothing, and dishes 

“Students learn from watching and participating in various cultural performances, but they also experience and learn about other cultures through tasting food from different parts of the world,” Choi-Won said. “We attempt to bring at least a small slice of the world to the students at Sunny Hills, which aligns with our goal of raising intellectually and culturally sensitive global citizens.”

In response to the overwhelming number of students interested in buying food last year, the PTSA intends to increase the amount and variety of food served for its 34th annual International Food Fair [IFF] on Friday, Feb. 10.

“Last year, I think the PTSA underestimated how many people were excited with the pandemic being over and with the newness for a lot of people because we hadn’t had IFF in a couple of years,” Associated Student Body adviser David Fenstermaker said. “I think that experience taught them to recruit more food booths and to publicize more clubs, so people have more room to operate.”

In compliance with the increased variety of food, the number of clubs selling desserts and other treats rose from 20 to 27 groups compared to last year, Choi-Won said.

“Almost all of the wings of the school will be utilized in order to spread out the food and give people more room to get in lines and walk around,” Fenstermaker said. “In the past couple of years, we’ve had one booth serving Mexican foods like tacos; this year, there’s going to be two taco stands and a burrito stand for Mexico, so that should make that line go a little faster.”

Clubs are only allowed to sell desserts, while the PTSA parent volunteers provide the food and drinks. The Korean Parent Organization will sell Korean BBQ and other Korean dishes, and the Chinese Culture Club will sell boba this year as well.

The Indian Student Association [ISA] will sell aloo tikki (a dish cooked with boiled potatoes, peas and various spices) for two tickets and mango lassi, a yogurt-based drink for three tickets, but they will be four tickets if purchased together.

Students and staff can purchase tickets for the festival during lunch and break by the stairs near the quad starting Wednesday, Feb. 8, for $1 each, and the PTSA will accept cash and card payments. Online pre-sale tickets are available on with an additional service charge of 25 cents for each five-ticket bundle; they will be available until Sunday, Feb. 5. 

This will be the first IFF for Craig Weinreich as the school’s principal.

“My advice to students would be to try lots of different things,” Weinreich said. “I think we get into ruts, and there are certain foods that we know we like, but we also get a chance to experience a lot of different types of foods.”