MUSCATINE, Iowa–Though many traditional celebrations have changed this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Muscatine High School Student Council has found a way to respect social distancing and disease prevention guidelines while still having a good time. In lieu of hosting the annual homecoming dance, the club has planned its first ever Fall Festival, scheduled to take place Oct. 30 from 6 to 9 p.m. Entry will require a wristband, which costs $10 at the door.
According to Kenedy Heimerdinger, a social studies teacher and co-sponsor of student council, students had realistic expectations for homecoming and had worked since the beginning of the year to design a safer event. “The students came up with the idea for a fall festival back in August,” she said. “Since we knew it was going to be a slim chance that we would get to have a homecoming dance due to COVID-19, we had the kids brainstorm an alternative event for the student body that would be able to have social distancing regulations.”
The students put their heads together for amusing, safer activities and came up with some entertaining attractions. Those looking for some frightening festivities can take a walk through the haunted hallway in Muscatine High School’s old science wing. Crafty sorts can put their skills to the test by entering the pumpkin painting contest. Anyone looking for a tasty treat can purchase one from student council members in the cafeteria. Carnival games in the gym will give attendees a chance to earn tickets to enter into a raffle for prizes donated from local businesses, such as restaurant gift certificates and cool merchandise.
To keep students safe while enjoying the Fall Festival, student council requires all attendees to wear a mask throughout the entire event. They will also designate one way traffic patterns through each area to help promote social distancing.
For Muscatine High School students itching to spend time out socializing, even if not at a typical homecoming dance, Heimerdinger strongly encourages them to attend the Fall Festival. “we encourage any high school student to attend because it will be a great opportunity to go out and do something with your friends during a time when we’ve all been encouraged to be apart for safety,” she emphasized, adding, “It will be a great opportunity to feel some normalcy in the high school again, and have some fun.”
The Fall Festival will also help student council make up for the financial losses they suffered by not having a homecoming dance and will allow them to continue hosting activities for students to partake in throughout the year. “Dances are primarily our largest fundraising events for student council, so missing out on that this year has been tough,” stated Heimerdinger.
Though this fall feels different from the ones that came before it, Muscatine High School Student Council’s thoughtful planning has ensured it will still prove a fun time for them and their classmates. They hope for a good turnout at Friday night’s first ever Fall Festival.