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Annual Celebrations Around the World is Friday

Terri Schissel stands by her a table she set with fine china authentic to England during a former Celebrations Around the World event. Schissel will return to Friday's annual celebration. (Special to The Globe)

WORTHINGTON — From the United States to Mexico, Brazil, Ethiopia, Norway, Germany and Laos, Worthington-area residents will soon have the opportunity to experience cultures from around the world without ever hopping on a plane.

More than two dozen countries are expected to be on display Friday during the annual Celebrations Around the World at the Minnesota West Community and Technical College Worthington Campus. From 5 to 8 p.m., guests will experience holiday traditions of countries from around the world, who will share authentic holiday foods/drinks and traditional music as well as photos, activities, table decorations and host explanations.

For Terri Schissel, who has represented England every year since the celebration began about 10 years ago, the celebration represents a fun excuse to set a table displaying her authentic Old Country Roses china.

“I brought my mum’s china back (to the United States) with me when she died,” said Schissel, who was born in England. “I’ve then added to it, almost every year since.”

Schissel moved to the United States when she was 17 years old. As she describes it, she fell in love with a G.I. (U.S. soldier) from Worthington. In 1958, she and Lowell Schissel were wed, and they would soon build the house Terri still resides in and raise a family.

Schissel said she tries to do something a little different each celebration, but it usually involves some kind of traditional treat, like lemon curd tarts.

Schissel said the annual celebration is a fun time for people to get acquainted with the different countries, which is sponsored by Minnesota West’s Culture Corner and the Nobles County Integration Collaborative with help from those like Schissel who volunteer to represent a country.

The evening will also include a number of musical performances, including the Worthington High School Chamber Orchestra at 5 p.m., Minnesota West choir at 7 p.m. and other various solos or trios spread throughout the evening.

An Aztec dance performance is also tentatively scheduled for 6 p.m.

The purpose of the evening’s event is not only for guests to share in holiday fellowship and learn about various cultures, but to support scholarships for ethnically diverse students, explained Le Lucht, Minnesota West director of cultural diversity.

“Particularly those who don’t have access to a lot of funding through our government and struggle to make ends meet,” she said.

For more information, contact Lucht at 372-3423 or Jaidy Kolander at 376-3300.