Walker High School students may seem brighter today — at least in terms of attire — since it is “Neon Day,” a part of the school’s homecoming week when pupils are encouraged to wear their brightest colors.
Each year during the week leading up to the high school’s homecoming football game and the parade that precedes it, WHS allows its students to play dress up, with each day having a theme.
Already, students kicked off the week by going geek on “Nerd Day.” For “Character Day” on Tuesday students were dressed as everything from Disney princesses to Jedi knights.
Jeremy Crigger, the principal of Walker High School, said his students showed their team spirit by going to elaborate lengths to create clever costumes.
“I’ve seen Alice in Wonderland and I’ve seen Batman. We had several of our students dressed up as Smurfs,” Crigger said. “We also had some (students) that were Crayola crayons.”
Pollyann Scruggs came to school Tuesday disguised as James Durbin, the popular “American Idol” finalist. Kathryn Best dressed as Minnie Mouse, Aleigh Archie wore a costume that made her look like a green M&M and Andrew McGehee donned a brown cloak and a lightsaber that transformed him into Obi Wan Kenobi, a central character in the “Star Wars” saga.
Some students merely dressed up as different animals Tuesday, including Brett Lee Walton whose getup on Tuesday made him resemble a penguin.
“I’m just a peacock,” said Catie Elliott.
Starting Thursday, different classes will have their own themes and colors. During “Decade Day,” freshmen will wear garb from the ’90s, sophomores will don styles from the ’80s, juniors will sport threads from the disco days of the ’70s while seniors dress up in the styles of the future.
During “Spirit Day” on Friday, freshmen will wear white, sophomores will wear black, juniors will wear gold and seniors will revive the Viking tradition of wearing togas on spirit day.
Crigger said the last day of homecoming week is when teachers and other staff members get in gear with school pride.
“They’ll typically dress up on Fridays,” Crigger said.
Although having a week in which students get to dress up is not unusual at high schools across the nation, Crigger said parades like WHS has during homecoming are rare.
“A lot of places don’t do the parades anymore so that’s kind of unique,” he said. “The whole community turns out for that.”
In addition to providing a fun experience for everyone at the school, Crigger said homecoming week offers an opportunity for team building.
“I think it builds a lot of unity among the student body,” Crigger said. “There’s a lot of man-hours that are spent building the floats and decorating and dressing up in the costumes.”
Crigger said other area schools will be participating in the parade in which each class and various clubs at WHS build their own floats.
“The kids who take part in that learn some life lessons,” Crigger said. “It’s always a fun week, that’s for sure.”
Prior to Friday’s parade through downtown Jasper that will start at 1 p.m., Walker High will hold a pep rally where “new” cheerleaders will get everyone at the school pumped up for that night’s game in which the WHS Vikings will host the Hayden High School Wildcats at Ki/Ro Gambrell Field at 7 p.m.
After the game, there will be a homecoming dance at the Community Health Systems Activities Center in downtown Jasper from 10 p.m. to midnight. Tickets will be sold at the WHS lunchroom today and Thursday. The cost to attend the dance is $10 per student or $15 per couple.