Gracia Evangelista sat in Western Nevada Community College's Aspen Building on Saturday watching Irish dancers perform as part of the school's ninth-annual Multicultural Festival.
"Music and dancing is the most beautiful for your mind and your heart," said the Philippine embassy employee. "It's beautiful for your nerves, your mind and your heart."
Visiting Carson City on vacation, Evangelista was happy to stumble across the celebration of cultures.
"The best way to live on this earth is to associate with other people, to learn their habits, their food, everything," she said. "It's best if you don't just know about yourself. We are not animals - we are given intelligence."
One of the foreign habits shared with the crowds at the college Saturday was Japanese Taiko drumming. Tsurunokai, a Reno group, brought their 70-pound odaiko big drums and 10-pound kodaiko small drums.
It's a high-energy performance, explained member Alicia Mach.
"We're gonna wake this place up," she said, twisted fabric headband around her brow.
Event organizer Teri Zutter, director of adult basic education at the college, said they achieved that goal.
"It was outstanding. They really use their whole bodies to play those drums."
She said about 1,000 turned out for the multicultural fair.
"The festival was spread out this year. In the past we've been packed together like sardines."
This year there were booths in the Joe Dini Student Center, tai chi and tae kwon do demonstrations on the front lawn, Washoe Indian singers and Wiraphon Phieokland Thai dancers in the Sarah Winnemucca Hall and food in the rotary plaza.
Veeraon Phakphoyen Ta of The Green Papaya Thai restaurant said her sweet-and-sour papaya salad was a big seller.
"It's very good. We sell a lot already - like over 50 order already," she said around 1 p.m.
There was a long line all day for Rosalin Carvin's Indian tacos and fry bread.
Phyllis Patton and other members of the Carson City Library Foundation were selling bratwursts to raise funds for the library and advertise the Oktoberfest. Their fund-raisers have paid for new technology such as the Thin-Client Internet-ready computers.
"They are a lot faster for the people who are using them," she said.
The sweet smell of fresh fruit wafted across the plaza from Miguel Gomez's frutas fescas booth. He and his family sold cups with strips of cantaloupe, watermelon, cucumber, pineapple, coconut and jicama.
Western Nevada Community College student Britt Gianotti sold water and soda to raise money for the school's student government.
"I haven't had a chance to go around and see all the different booths yet but everyone is saying they're really well done."
The biggest problem of the day was when the 500-balloon arch was blown loose and floated away.
"Somebody told me it looked like DNA in the sky," said Zutter.
There were 23 booths at this year's event.
Contact Karl Horeis at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1219.