Annual Homecoming bonfire brings together old and new

As most school events start, the vibe of the homecoming bonfire initially lacked excitement. Kids were clumped together in separate groups, waiting for friends parents to finally drop them off, as the crowd consisted of mainly underclassmen. The fire danced through the air, stoked by Assistant Principal Matt Middleton throughout the night. The annual gathering in the north fields is a staple of homecoming week. Dancing and the announcement of court in the north fields may just be a defining characteristic of panther tradition.

The fire rages on throughout the night. Picture taken by Madeline Capka

A new addition to the annual bonfire this time around was cornhole, which was enjoyed by many students. This provided a distraction from the awkward environment of waiting around until someone dared to throw it down. However, once the dancing began, it was quick for the rest of the students to join.


  The DJ for the event seemed to be stuck at our middle school winter dance. Music choices included Watch Me Whip by Silento and Worth It by Fifth Harmony. About an hour into the bonfire the dancing finally started when the few seniors formed a circle and took turns dancing.

Dancing during the bonfire. Picture taken by Madeline Capka

  The few and far between upperclassmen attending the event were those required to be there. Homecoming court members, senior class cabinet, those who are dating sophomores, and us, the writers of this story were sprinkled in with the underclassmen.

  Students were able to purchase entrance into the bonfire with two dollars at lunch during the week. Alternatives to tickets were blue wristbands which read “Once a Panther, Always a Panther”, a reference to High School Musical.

  Astronomy teacher, Brian Dickmann, hosted a star party around the same time as the bonfire. They looked at the moon, stars, and Jupiter through a telescope just outside of the area where the students were.

  Senior Caylie Cyrus used the night to dance and catch up with friends she doesn’t otherwise see during the school day.

  “[The bonfire] reminds me of summer. Darby comes together for the homecoming events and it pumps us up,” Cyrus explained.

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