Chambersburg Area Senior High School Color Day tradition still has class

April 25, 2008|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. -- The deafening screams of hundreds of adolescents reverberated off the walls of the gymnasium Friday afternoon as Chambersburg Area Senior High School sophomores, juniors and seniors competed for class on Color Day.

This rite of passage has been going on since at least the 1920s, Assistant Superintendent Eric Michael said. Back then, it was called Pennant Day, he said.

The day began with a talent show and moved on to the crowning of the Color Day Queen, Lauren Rockwell, by the woman who won that crown 50 years ago.

"It's awesome. It really is," Carla (Danfelt) Boyer, class of 1958, said above the din. "I think they have quite a few more activities than we did."


Half a century ago, she was crowned in the gymnasium, and it's been that long since the Grantham, Pa., woman has been back to her alma mater.

"The town itself has grown immensely," particularly the proliferation of shopping malls, Boyer said.

The event included a series of games that, aside from the tug-of war, seemed to involve teenage boys pulling, carrying or chasing teenage girls across the basketball court. Teams of sophomores and seniors, both arrayed in red and white, battled the blue-and-gold juniors.

"The seniors tend to take the sophomores under their wing," Nikki Roland said. "The juniors get ganged up on."

Any hard feelings do not last long, Roland said.

"No matter what goes on during Color Day, it's all forgotten the next day," she said.

In the end, this battle went the seniors' way.

"It's a friendly rivalry of classes," senior Taylor Nitterhouse said.

"Not so friendly sometimes," senior Lacey Smith said.

Brennan Elliott pulled off a double in the talent show, winning in both the judging and the popular vote.

"I beat-boxed ... You make noises with your mouth," the junior said. "It's something I do every day. My teachers hate me for it."

"But somehow, it won me $200," Elliott added.

One more traditional Color Day event had yet to take place as the students filed out of the gym -- the annual egg fight, which has landed some students in minor legal difficulties in the past.

The fight traditionally is held at an undisclosed location known only to the participating students.

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