Hand-colored flags lined the walls and cut-outs of people of different nationalities decorated the stage for a performance celebrating the community's diverse dance and musical heritage.
Paularino Elementary School hosted its annual Multicultural Night on Friday with homemade food, and student and professional performances that crossed a spectrum of the world.
"We want each child to be proud and understand their unique background," said interim Principal Bonnie Swann. "Paularino is a salad bowl. Every flavor is important; every child is important."
Brenda Catania, a mother of three, started Multicultural Night nine years ago after deciding to expand upon a Cinco de Mayo celebration she was planning.
The event gives the students at the Costa Mesa school a chance to broaden their cultural experiences, said first-grade teacher Pamela Bentson.