Celebrating Latin Culture and Language


Zobaida Chowdhury, News Reporter

On Saturday, Jan. 28, the annual Latin Fest was held at John Champe High School. It is a festival to promote Roman culture which gives middle and high school students an opportunity to discover what Latin has in store for them. 

Latin Fest started one to two years before Covid-19. The festival is held in different schools around Loudoun County. Each year there are different activities, depending on the schools who are participating. 

“This year we had Arachne’s web, which is an obstacle course, a bridge building competition using pasta and marshmallows. The trivia contest topic changes from year to year,” said Michelle Lindo, a Latin teacher at Briar Woods High School. 

Teachers start preparing for Latin Fest by asking students what they want to see in the festival. Weeks before Latin Fest, teachers gather the materials and set up their respective stands. 

“Everyone who participates in running the event is enthusiastic about Latin, so it’s a lot of fun,” said Erin Prokopchak, who teaches Latin at John Champe High School. 

Students from various schools participated in Latin Fest. Compared to last year, the festival was more lively as people enjoyed themselves. Students put their all into the attractions and had plenty of fun. 

 “My personal favorite was Arachne’s web, where you had to get through without touching the string and our Latin teacher would take pictures of you at your worst moments,” said Tristan Martin, a freshman here at Briar Woods High School. 

The teachers managed their respective stands. Lindo ran the coloring contest with mythology-themed pages and sticker mosaic contest. She did not actively participate in any tournament, however Lindo enjoyed the game Rota. 

“It is a game that the Romans played that’s similar to tic tac toe,” said Lindo. 

Teachers collaborate with students on future plans for the Latin Fest. in which students can create their own activities. Tristan remarked that she wanted to plan a ‘make your own toga’ stand. 

“There would be white sheets, dyes, gloves, and basins, along with a tutorial on how to put a toga on,” said Tristian 

Latin Fest is both a promotion of Latin and a celebration of Latin culture.This year there were about 70 attendees, including teachers, current students, and prospective students as young as five. The diversity of the attendees shows how Latin Fest commemorates the language. 

“The event is equally for students who have never taken Latin before who would like to meet current Latin students and teachers, and learn the benefits of Latin in life and school and for current Latin students to celebrate the language that they have chosen to learn,” said Prokopchak