If you find yourself wandering around the gym at Highlands School deciding whether to go through the giant inflatable slide and obstacle course, or try your hand at a game of chance, you may be at Highlands School Fall Festival. The Parent Teacher Organization plans this annual soiree to raise money for caps and gowns for graduating students.
Operated by students and volunteers, the festival on Oct. 6 brought smiles to all ages. Sixth-grader Raquel Stiles said there were a lot of fun games and activities to choose from, but if she had to settle on a favorite it’s the inflatable obstacle course.
“It’s challenging and my brother does stuff like that in the Marines and I want to be like him,” said Stiles.
There were a plethora of games, crafts, candy, not to mention a haunted house with student actors. Inside the haunted house was a horrifying series of lights, costumed characters out of everyone’s worst nightmares and terrible sounds to make the hairs on the back of your neck raise. It was not everyone’s cup of tea.
“Yeah, I tried it (haunted house), but I didn’t make it all the way through. No way.”
Not only are there activities abound, but many people attend to get out of the house and socialize.
“It’s fun because you can come and hang out with friends,” said 6th-grader Alicia Chastain. “My favorite is the basketball game but the hardest is the football tire throw.”
Manning the intimidating and legendary football-tire throw is senior Mattson Gates.
“I have seen a lot of people throw tonight,” said Mattson. “Well, I’ve seen a lot of little kids throw and they are far better than me at this, and I can throw a football. I’m telling you, we’re seeing future athletes tonight.”
3rd-grader Jake Smith agreed with Chastain, the football-tire throw is not for rookies, but the rest of the festival, including the hay rides, haunted house, dunk tank, and inflatable obstacle course, was right on point.
“I saw a girl get dunked in the dunk tank, we ran around a lot, and I played a bunch of games and won a lot of stuff,” said Smith. “It’s a lot of fun.”
There was a rotation of dunk tank victims, the first being Chris green. Highlands School Vice Principal Sarah Holbrooks saw the sights and heard the sounds of the fall festival for the first time on Saturday.
“From what I can see the kids are loving and enjoying it,” said Holbrooks. “Plus it’s a great way to raise some money for school. And the students are involved in the set-up and operation of it, it’s great.”
Parent Teacher Organization President Laura Deppe said that if teachers volunteer at the festival then their classrooms also earn some of the proceeds so school staff were out peddling their games to festival goers.
“I think everybody has a great time,” said Deppe. “Kids have the freedom to run around and do their own thing. Plus the community up here is great and is so supportive of this.”
Article and photos by Brian O’Shea
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