OPRF goes crazy at homecoming

Julia Youman, Staffer

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In the 2019 OPRF Homecoming video, produced by senior Daniel Lingen, the dance looks reminiscent of the EDM stage at Lollapalooza. Fast-paced snippets of students creating mosh-pits around the stage, waving LEDs and phone flashlights. Stu- dents pose at the photo-booth, stop by coat- check, and walk through up-lit hallways giving off a black-light effect. Multi-colored lights lining the inside of the fieldhouse, set the scene for DJs to play a three-hour set to the backdrop of smoke machines and strobing lights.

Few other high schools host such a high- energy dance that brings out the most of the student body. Student-council club sponsor Katie Prendergast said the number of attendees increases a bit every year with this year’s official number at 2198 students. With some 3200 students at OPRF, one of the largest school-wide events is Homecoming, one of two annual school dances. “The people on student-council care about how the event turns out and want everyone to enjoy their experience,” says board representative and senior Caroline Peavy, who said she hopes students “feel the dedication (they) have to making the school’s homecoming amazing.”

Prendergast also stressed how the goal of the spirit leading up to the dance was to en- sure just that. “I hope students are walking in on Monday excited to start the week…it should be an amazing week for all students Monday through Saturday,” she says.

Such a seamless and high-quality dance comes at the expense of months of preparation, all done by Student Council. Planning began last May with voting of the theme and an accompanying slogan. After land- ing on “under the sea” advertised with the catchy name “commotion under the ocean,” every meeting from there on out was dedicated to execution.

Peavy mentioned the biggest challenge is time. “Even though it may not seem like it, it takes many weeks to plan Homecoming… Our regular meetings during Homecoming season can run as long as three hours.”

Despite such intense preparation, student-council members were decorating hallways until 11 p.m the night before. “Homecoming truly takes a lot of people’s ideas and time to come together,” says Peavy. “We have to create an idea, plan out our decorations… and then execute our plan,” with one meeting a week.

Prendergast stressed how the main focus is on increasing student participation each year. To accomplish this, they took advantage of the new 15-minute advisory period by planning a door-decorating competition. There were also five dress up days that ended with OPRF spirit wear on Friday, the day of the spirit assembly.

Prendergast says she was blown away by the enthusiasm of first-year students and advisories as they went all-out this year. “The goal is more participation each year and to get as many students to attend that dance, have a good time, and be safe,” she says.

Reflecting on the hectic past few weeks, Peavy says, “You can’t please everyone when planning an event like this.”

Student-council spent hours honing in on little details, from the homecoming ticket design to the handmade hanging jellyfish. “I think students appreciated the decorations a lot more this year,” says Peavy.