Winterfest offers more than most of student body anticipated


Maggie O'Donnell, Features Editor

In past years, Student Leadership hasn’t received the turnout they would like to see at the winter dances. That’s why this year they decided to take a different approach and try a new kind of dance, Winterfest.

Winterfest took place on Saturday, March 16, in the Main Gym, where students could enjoy numerous activities, including music, dancing, games and interactive inflatables. Students also were encouraged to dress for the blackout/neon theme by wearing all black.

“The silent disco was a very fun part of the night; it was a simple concept, but entertaining,” Senior Franco Perez said.

The silent disco section allowed students to wear light up headphones while listening to different music that was not playing on the main stage.

Students were quick to judge Winterfest, and the change was not taken well by many of the students– they said they wanted a traditional dance setting– but the student body had yet to experience Winterfest, so many who attended ended up expressing excitement about the event.

“I would tell people who didn’t go to Winterfest this year that they should consider going next year because not only is change good, it is also refreshing and exciting,” Junior Damia Ali said. “I would tell them that the dance and dressing up aspect of Turnabout is still incorporated/present in Winterfest; the only difference is that there are other activities outside the dance.”

The decision to shift from Turnabout to Winter Dance a couple of years ago and then to Winterfest this year came down to the numbers. Turnabout and Winter Dance just weren’t drawing enough students to the dance to make it possible to continue, so Student Leadership decided to try an alternative this year.

“The new DJ for Homecoming was a hit, and so, we looked into them for our winter dance, and the only option they gave us was Winterfest,” Senior Class President Megan Rastrelli said. “That was what we went with because we were really looking for anything that was better than our low numbers in the past.”

The impact the DJ had on Homecoming pushed students to give Winterfest a try, as it is a major event My Boom Tour produces for high schools, including Stevenson High School.

“I never usually go to winter dances, but I really enjoyed the Homecoming DJ, so I was excited that Winterfest was through the same DJ,” Ali said.

The push for students to attend Winterfest consisted of Student Leadership members advertising through social media and telling their peers as well as hanging up fliers around school and through a promotional video on “Friday Focus,” but some students said the advertising push came a little late, feeling as though the most advertising came a few days before the day of the event.

“I definitely wish we advertised it a little differently because I think we got to the point where we were kind of freaking out the last week before, and at that point, it’s kind of late to start advertising for a dance that is that Saturday,” Rastrelli said. “I think we, in the future, will push the advertising a little more about a month in advance, and those three or four weeks leading up, we can advertise like what we did that week before because it was kind of rushed.”

As a result, many students said they didn’t know what to expect with the new activities and the different style of dress suggestions.

“The biggest turnoff this year was people heard about the inflatable and thought it was going to be a seventh grader’s birthday party instead of a high school dance,” Rastrelli said. “All the different activities kind of threw people off, but if they saw how it all flowed and connected, they would be more interested in going.”

As a result, Rastrelli added that Student Leadership’s main goal for next year is to show students what happened this year, so they know what is going to happen next year.”

“I feel like once people see that it wasn’t what they were expecting, they will be more interested,” she said.

Student Leadership also plans to do a better job of helping students realize that the Winterfest is still a dance.

“People weren’t understanding that it was a dance still, and you still have the DJ; in fact there were multiple DJs at the dance,” Rastrelli said. “The main thing is to make sure people understand it’s a dance; you’ll have music. You can ask somebody or go in a group or by yourself, and you’ll still have a good time.”

Additionally, upperclassmen should be aware that Winterfest ticket sales can impact prom. Although the effects aren’t expected to be drastic this year, it does suggest that attendance to Winterfest needs to increase in the future to prevent any future impact on prom.

“As far as I know, from what I was told, the winter dance always has an impact on the future dances, and the next dance after Winterfest would be prom, and because sometimes ticket sales are low, like, for example, Winterfest ticket sales were a little lower, we have to kind of figure out how we are going to still have a great prom, but not go really into debt,” Rastrelli said.

Rastrelli added if there is any effect to prom, it will be minimal, “like decorations won’t be as extravagant.”

“I don’t think it will have too big of an impact because the sponsors really put everything they got into prom,” Rastrelli said, “And I don’t think that they are going to purposefully make it bad; they are going to work to make it as good as they can.”