The 2018 Stow Homecoming Festival had many fun events for people of all ages. The festival took place just after the parade and before the football game against Nordonia.
Some activities the festival had included bouncy houses, food trucks, a dunk tank, festival games and the car smashing event.
One of the bouncy houses had a fun obstacle course where participants could race through to see who could get to the end faster, and the other was one where you could just jump around. There was also one where you could “joust” with blow up sticks while standing on pillars, trying not to fall off.
For the dunk tank, students from grades ninth through twelfth volunteered to possibly get dunked. Participants had the chance of dunking the volunteers by throwing a ball at a target, if it hit the target they would be dunked.
Another event was the car destroying, where people paid to smash a car decorated with Nordonia’s colors. Participants had to put on a helmet for safety reasons and would use a baseball bat to destroy the car. In the end, the car looked very damaged.
People enjoying the festivals events could also stop by one of the food trucks that were parked in front of everything. The lines were quite long, but they all had appetizing foods such as frozen custard, funnel cakes, hot chocolate, and other fun festival foods.
Student council ran most of the games and events set up at the festival, but some school clubs had tables set up, like Key Club or Spanish Club. One game that was popular was Jenga, except all the blocks for the game were much larger.
The homecoming festival led up to a great game and close loss for the football team and a fun homecoming.
Davenport was filled with many laughs and smiles as students from different clubs and groups showcased, as well as raced, their decorative couches.
Eight different teamscompeted to win the overall prize. The winners received free tickets to the next Homecoming game, and they were also given the chance to sit on the sidelines in their couch at the game.
In order to win the prize, teams had to first present their couch to the judges, and each judge gave them a point value out of ten. Next, they had to perform a cheer, and the judges proceeded to give them another point value out of ten. Finally, teams raced against other teams in a double elimination bracket. The team with the most points won.
Out of all eight teams, team Just A Group of Friends were the winners. Their cheer and couch left the biggest impression on the judges.
All members of the team were given free admission to the homecoming game the following day, and they were able to sit on the couch they competed with at the game.
Junior, Jenna Anderson, is a proud member of the Just A Group of Friends team. She is glad she could experience winning Davenport with her friends.
“I loved Davenport because it was an amazing way to spend time with my friends, even though they are all annoying and didn’t help do anything at all,” Anderson said.
Senior, Jason Anzaldi, believes beating other opponents was the most important part of the event. He was determined to beat his peers from other teams.
“We went into it just chilling, and then we saw Josh Blasco’s team and we knew we had to win. After that we did not lose once,” Anzaldi said.
People who participated in Davenport were not the only ones who had fun. Students who observed, such as sophomore Mya Dietrich, also enjoyed being there.
“Watching [the teams] was very entertaining, Their cheers were really funny and they made me laugh,” Dietrich says.
This was Dietrich’s second time watching Davenport. The cheers were her favorite part of the competition, but she also liked seeing the students race each other. She plans on returning next year to watch.
“I would definitely go back and watch next year because all the teams did some pretty funny stuff that made everyone laugh, and everyone just has a really fun time,” Dietrich says.
Junior, Abbey Staats, is chair of the Davenport committee. She and other members of the committee have worked together since the end of last school year to make Davenport possible.
“To plan it you have to find couches and then find someone to pick it up. I used Facebook and asked for free couches, and we ended up receiving 14 couches, but we only used 8,” Staats said.
Staats believes this year’s Davenport improved from last year because of the amount of people they had signup, and they had less issues.
“We got a lot more people to sign up, we didn’t have any couches break, we didn’t have any sound issues, and we had a lot more people come and watch,” Staats said.
Davenport was entertaining for anyone who was watching, and was also a fun way for students to come out and participate in a friendly competition against their peers in honor of Homecoming.
Every year, students vote people from their class to represent their grade for Homecoming court. The individuals chosen are looked up to, and it is a huge honor to be representing your class.
Senior attendants were Homecoming king and queen, Elyse Casalinova and Maclane Stebbins. Also representing the senior class was Madie Gash, Caleb Edmondson, Jordy Ruth, Brian Cartwright, Anica Tyner and Adam Gilbow.
“It was a great moment and feeling being chosen for court. It made me feel very proud of myself,” Gilbow said.
For juniors, Katie Bunday, Daniel Patten, Elise Baughman and Blake Moravik were on court.
Sophomores, Olivia Waickman and Clayton Mosher were chosen, and for freshmen Marissa Romano and Evan Droder were selected.
“I wasn’t really expecting to be on court so when I found out I was a little shocked, but really excited for the most part,” Romano said.
Once court was chosen, Student Council hosted a luncheon honoring and congratulating the students on court. All of the court events were organized by the committee chair Grace Laber, co-chair Maria Leonino, as well as committee members Nina Rorabaugh and Lexi Shabazz.
“I have been apart of the court committee for four years now, and this year it was so much more fun because since I’m a senior, I was comfortable with running everything because I knew most of the people. We had some obstacles, but for the most part everything ran smoothly,” Laber said.
Following the luncheon, the attendants went to a band practice to practice the halftime announcements and become comfortable with what to do at halftime.
On Friday, the first event court attended was the Homecoming parade. All members of court rode in convertibles through the parade and were recognized for being chosen.
After the parade, the students sat together under a tent for the first half waiting for halftime. Their family members came down and were able to take pictures before walking across the field.
During halftime, all 16 court members walked across the field with their escorts. They were recognized by stating their involvement through activities at the school and their future plans.
Most of court sat in the tent but football players Mosher, Gilbow and Cartwright were focused on the game. At halftime, the bulldogs were tied and the boys were feeling confident with their game.
“I was focused on the game, but was still nervous thinking about halftime. I was most excited to be there with my mom and friends. The experience was heartwarming and I will remember it for the rest of my life,” Cartwright said.
Similar to Cartwright, Bunday was also anticipating walking across the field. The moment was very special for her and her father.
“Walking across the field with my dad was my favorite moment. We both were looking forward to it and it was a cool moment for us both with the band playing and our family in the crowd,” Bunday said.
All members lined up across the field and the girls were given boxes with flowers, and boys were given boxes with crowns.
Everyone opened their boxes and the girl with red roses was Homecoming queen, and the boy with a red crown was homecoming king. Casalinova and Stebbins were crowned king and queen.
Regardless of the outcome, everyone had an enjoyable time and made a memory that will last a lifetime. Ruth especially enjoyed her senior Homecoming experience.
“Overall I really enjoyed being on court, all of my best friends were with me and it’s nice to share that memory will all of them,” Ruth said.
This years court festivities ran smoothly by Student Council and the members. It was a special group of students and a special moment in all of their lives.