The Festival of Cultures at Rocky Mountain College on Sunday was a big success despite having many of the flags decorating festival grounds stolen the night before.
When Cindy Kunz, festival coordinator, drove up at 6 a.m. Sunday, she immediately noticed that 24 of the 27 flags from countries around the world were missing from a 6-foot-high chain-link fence running north of Poly Drive through the Rocky Mountain College campus.
The festival is sponsored by the Peace Institute, which is housed at Rocky.
The flags and some tents and other equipment were set up Saturday to make it easier for vendors and demonstrators to open on time at 10 a.m. Sunday.
A professional security guard, hired to patrol the area, heard a disturbance at the fence about 11 p.m. Saturday. When he shined a spotlight on the fence only three of the flags were left.
Because each of the 3-foot-by-5-foot flags was attached to the fence with heavy twine, the vandals had to have cut the flags down with large scissors or a wire cutter, Kunz said.
Some of the flags were given to the Peace Institute, and some were bought by the institute, two each year. She estimated the cost of each flag at about $55.
Kunz still hopes that the flags may be returned and asks anyone who might know something about the incident to call her at 657-1042 or e-mail her at PeaceStudies@Rocky.edu.
Despite the missing flags, festival participants had a great day. In contrast to last year's event when it rained nearly all day, Sunday's festival had beautiful weather. "It's such a nice event," Kunz said Monday.
A head count wasn't taken this year, but Kunz estimated the crowd at several thousand people.
"The seats at all the entertainment were filled," she said.