An old tradition made new


Photo Provided by RJ Reynolds PTSA – Members of the Academic Support Club sell “Boo Boxes” with treats for Halloween.

Olivia Stubbs, Staff Writer

As first quarter came to an end on October 28, stress levels among RJ Reynolds’ students were on a high as grades were finalized and last-minute coursework was turned in. Everyone needed a way to relax, socialize, and celebrate the school year so far. Thankfully, Oktoberfest was right around the corner. During fourth period on the last school day of the quarter, students were dismissed from their regular classes to participate in an age-old tradition finally being brought back to the Reynolds campus.

    Oktoberfest is an event where clubs and other Reynolds programs set up tables in the courtyard to sell food, provide services, or gain new members. It had been an annual event at Reynolds since 1985 until recently.

    “We, up until the last three or four years, had it,” interior design teacher and co-coordinator of Oktoberfest Robin Myers said. “It was always a really successful event for our students, and they really enjoyed it.”

    Myers, along with Phillip Boyd, the food and consumer science teacher at RJR, coordinated this year’s event.

    “We wanted to reestablish it like it was done before: students coming, being able to sell products, and just having a good time,” Boyd said.

    The yearly Reynolds Oktoberfest came to a halt after teachers, with the best of intentions, attempted to make the event educational, rather than just fun as it was originally meant to be. This year’s endeavor was meant to return to the roots of the tradition.

    During fourth period, students were free to explore many tables, including clubs and other RJR opportunities, as well as programs such as the US Armed Forces, Young Life, and Crosby Scholars. By making purchases, students funded various clubs at RJR. The drama club sold baked goods and candy, while the art club sold caricatures hand-drawn by students and teachers.

    “I love caricatures, so I thought my picture was super cool,” sophomore Georgia Stallings said. “I also wanted to support our Art Club.”

      Part of the immense accomplishment of Oktoberfest was the money that clubs were able to raise. The Dancing Boots and RJR Cheer raised funds by letting people smash pies of whipped cream into their faces. For most of fourth period, people surrounded the “Pie a Boot or Cheerleader in the Face” booth. As one might think, this was fun for the people with the pies, but not as much for the people on the other end.

     “It was fun to see other people pied, but maybe not me,” sophomore Dancing Boot Sophie Johnson said.

    Even though it made a bit of a mess, both Cheer and the Boots made a substantial amount of money, as did other programs that showed up for Oktoberfest.

    “Everybody who had stuff to sell raised over $200,” Boyd said.

    Once students headed home at 3:40, students, parent volunteers, and faculty began to clean up their tables, and the event was considered a success. Students had spent the hour and a half browsing tables, hanging out with friends, and watching performances, including karaoke on the Gfeller Stage for those who were brave enough.

    “It was more than what I expected,” Boyd said. “It was good.”

    The prosperous results of Oktoberfest guided the decision to have the event again next year, possibly with even more activities to keep students interested, excited, and having fun. In addition, Mayfest will take place in May, with similar activities to celebrate the end of the school year. Hopefully, the success of this year’s Oktoberfest will inspire the tradition to continue for years to come.