Festivus Gets Links Moving: Annual celebration offers kids, staff variety of activities

Festivus Gets Links Moving: Annual celebration offers kids, staff variety of activities

By Katie Chiplaski and Michael Scotto What used to be known as the “Back to School Bash” in the ’90s is now knows as Festivus – a beginning of the year celebration for Lincoln High students and staff involving games, food, activities, and fun. On Friday, September 21, 2012 Links poured out of the building

Above: Davina Falcon (10) and a huge crowd of students dance to the music of the DJ outside during Festivus on
Friday, Sept. 21, 2012. The annual celebration is a chance for students to have fun and for clubs and organizations to make money selling food, crafts, and games. Photo by Debbie Hernandez

By Katie Chiplaski and Michael Scotto

What used to be known as the “Back to School Bash” in the ’90s is now knows as Festivus – a beginning of the year celebration for Lincoln High students and staff involving games, food, activities, and fun. On Friday, September 21, 2012 Links poured out of the building and onto the practice field to the west of the school with tickets in hand to enjoy some time off , and a chance to connect with each other in a relaxed atmosphere.

The name Festivus comes from a Seinfeld episode about a holiday alternative to the com­mercialism of Christmas. To students and teachers at Lincoln High it’s a celebration about different cultures com­ing together as one.

“Festivus is us, because it’s a cel­ebration of the student groups we have. Without us, Festivus isn’t anything!” self-proclaimed “Promoter of Festivus” and Social Studies Teacher Andrew Bargen said.

Bargen coordinated the Student/Staff Challenges during the day. Students and teachers signed up for various events, and tested each others’ abilities in Jousting, the Rock Wall, and the Blow up Obstacle Course.

This year Festivus was run by Associate Principal Jill Able and organized by Special Education teacher Richard Jackson. This event is to recognize all the clubs and have a fun activity day as we begin the 2013 school year.

“It brings students together to see teacher in a different light,” Jackson said. “In­stead of the tradi­tional classroom, students see teachers in dunk tanks, hooked up to a pulley sys­tem for the rock wall, and beating students with jousting sticks. Many of them get enjoyment out of seeing the teach­ers showing their child-like side.”

“The students take great care of it, and it showcases their interests,” Associate Princi­pal Mark Larson said. “After all the testing, work, and preparation, it is important because there aren’t enough celebrations anymore.” Many students are rushed back into the school year and hit with tests and subjects they tried to forget over the summer – especially seniors, since it is their last year here at The High, and they have a lot to think about. That’s why this is a good “relaxing point” for them.

Festivus has many activities such as a DJ, who plays music for them so they can dance, Pie a Pom-A –Link, Foot­ball toss, and the brutal, unfor­giving obstacle course. Spanish teacher Amy Stetson participated in a student/staff challenge. “Its dangerous,” she said. “I just fought a student in the joust­ing and they kicked my… you know!”

Senior Tristan Sommars said, “I personally think Festi­vus is a great way to start of the school year.”

Above: Principal Mike Wortman sells his signature Twizzlers at Festivus. Photo by Katie Chiplaski

 

When the day was done, the cleaning crew comprised of students, teachers, and custodians cleaned up the Festival’s remains with both speed and precision, like a pit crew on a racetrack. Booths, food stands and activi­ties were all taken down in a matter of 10-15 minutes, no time was wasted clean­ing up Lincoln High’s field.

With students head­ing home and the school grounds cleared of what remained from the days’ events, it would be easy to forget how much work actually went into Festivus.

So let’s not write it off as some kind of school charity, but think of it as what it represents; a day where both students and staff can see each other in a different light, have fun, eat food and maybe, just maybe, throw

 

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