Chilly Dogs: Pardeeville marks Homecoming in frigid weather
PARDEEVILLE – On Friday, it was Parka-ville.
The heat of Pardeeville High School homecoming spirit didn’t alleviate the need for winter wear as blue-and-gold-clad Bulldog boosters unexpectedly had to move all their festivities, including the pep rally, outdoors.
In a way, the pep rally, usually held in the gymnasium, was rained out – even though Friday’s weather was dry.
The deluges earlier this week caused water damage to the gym floor, said Superintendent Gus Knitt.
By midweek, it was apparent that the wooden floors had warped.
On Friday afternoon, a crew was working to repair the floor in time for the start of basketball season next month.
“That’s why we’re playing outside today,” Knitt said.
The temperatures, in the low 40s, might have been considered optimal football weather, were it not for the gusty winds and extremely overcast skies.
That was likely one reason why the bleachers were about half-full for the pep rally, said teacher Chris Lynch.
And, it was a reason why the lines were long at the concession stand, where the student council was providing students with free hot chocolate or cappuccino.
As sophomores Ryah Jacobson and Maddy Tierney competed in one of the “mystery games” – shave the balloon – Jacobson said the cold made his part of the competition particularly challenging.
“My hands are so cold, I can’t tie it right,” he said, after inflating a balloon and putting the stem into his mouth.
At the parade formation, senior Mackenzie Kohler sat astride Hope, a quarter horse, as part of the FFA’s Homecoming parade unit.
“She’s cold,” Kohler said of the horse. “I can feel her shivering.”
Younger students from the Pardeeville schools and St. John’s Lutheran School came out to watch the parade, as is customary, but the cold weather kept the crowd of community spectators sparse.
The cold didn’t stop the homecoming court, including Queen Olivia Nedza and King Jackson Parker, from riding in open convertibles – although the queen’s royal robe, this year, was a parka with a fur-trimmed hood. Her crown? A stocking cap.