JBS brings color to International FestivalWORTHINGTON — Thanks to a collaboration between JBS and its union, U.F.C.W. Local 1161, there will be a lot of extra color at the 2009 International Festival, which begins tonight and continues through Saturday on the lawn of the Nobles County Government Center in Worthington.
By: Julie Buntjer, Worthington Daily Globe
WORTHINGTON — Thanks to a collaboration between JBS and its union, U.F.C.W. Local 1161, there will be a lot of extra color at the 2009 International Festival, which begins tonight and continues through Saturday on the lawn of the Nobles County Government Center in Worthington.
The local pork processing facility and union recently purchased 40 flags to represent the home countries of Worthington’s newest residents.
Tonight, each of those flags will be paraded across the courthouse lawn to the staging area of the International Festival, where they will be displayed throughout the event.
“When we started doing a flag ceremony at the beginning of the International Festival, we thought it would look nice if they were uniform flags,” said Jenny Andersen-Martinez, human resources director at JBS. She said the flags will be used for a variety of events in the community, and will also be displayed at JBS to represent the many cultures of their workforce.
The flags were first displayed during a Mother’s Day event in May, according to U.F.C.W. representative Mike Potter.
“It looked really, really beautiful to have those different colors sitting there on display,” Potter said. “We had a lot of compliments on those flags. We’re going to be using them a lot around the community.”
Potter said the flags represent the “many faces” of the community.
“It helps us get connected and share ideas with people who are from different countries,” he added.
Some of the maintenance workers at JBS worked to construct a stand to hold all of the flags so that they can be properly displayed.
After the flags are paraded toward the stage, Potter said there will be a brief introduction of each flag before it is placed in its stand.
“I think people will be surprised to see how many different countries we have represented in Worthington,” said Andersen-Martinez. “There’s a special pride (in seeing your country’s flag). We’re excited that people will be able to have that experience at the International Festival.”
The flag presentation will kick off the International Festival’s opening ceremony, slated to begin at 5:30 p.m.