This week, the halls of Deer Park High School are flooded with more than just students and teachers.
Students are wearing wacky clothes each day, and some of the teachers are participating too. Walking through the halls each day this week, people are spotted in pajamas, togas, leis, holiday sweaters, and school colors. This is all to celebrate Scarlet and Gray Day, a Deer Park tradition to welcome the start of the new basketball season.
Each day of the week has a certain theme that students can dress up and get creative with. Monday is Pajama Day, Tuesday is Toga Day, Wednesday is Hawaiian Day, Thursday is Ugly Sweater Day, and Friday is Scarlet and Gray Day.
The spirit of the occasion continues with more than just each spirit day. Each year, Scarlet and Gray Day has a theme itself. In the past, the theme has been Dr. Seuss books, classic movies, and more. Each class of high school gets their own aspect of the category, and sell t-shirts students can buy to wear on Scarlet and Gray Day.
This year, the theme is seasons of the year. Freshmen have Spring, Sophomores have Winter, Juniors have Summer, and Seniors have Fall. There’s also a process each year in which the theme is decided.
“So they [student council] pick the overall theme, such as this year they picked seasons, so we had about a month and a half ago a student council meeting with all of the officers from every grade level, and they do a vote for the overall theme, and then once we have the overall theme, such as seasons, they then choose individually. Seniors get to pick first by seniority, through the freshmen get to pick their individual grade level theme,” student council advisor Lia Heile said.
There is a lot of hard work that goes behind setting up Scarlet and Gray Week every year.
“So we have our meetings beforehand to plan ahead to pick the themes, and the dress up days, and make sure that those get approved, so it starts about a month and a half to two months before. And then, the kids throughout the week work on their posters after school, so that they can hang up in the gym, so the kids are working on that everyday after school. And then I just prep to get the pep rally ready to go on Friday afternoon,” Heile said.
Scarlet and Gray Week culminates on Friday, with a pep rally during school and a home basketball game that night. The whole spirit week tends to be a great and exciting time of the year for students.
“I just like to see everyone dressed up and having school spirit and happy to have school spirit,” junior class president Jami Baker said.
Staff members also enjoy the different activities during Scarlet and Gray Week.
“My favorite thing about Scarlet and Gray Week is how excited the kids get to dress up and things like that, and also the actual pep rally Friday afternoon, doing the games and some competition, I love competition, having the pep rally usually goes well so that’s always my favorite part,” Heile said.
Scarlet and Gray Week is an opportunity for everyone to get creative, dress up, and have fun. Welcome the new basketball season on Friday, December 9 as the Deer Park Wildcats play against the Reading Blue Devils at the Deer Park High School Gymnasium.