Homecoming pep fest makes a triumphant return in Zimmerman High School gym
by Erik Nelson
For the first time since 2019, Zimmerman High School held its annual homecoming pep fest on Friday, Sept. 24, at the Zimmerman High School gymnasium.
After the 2020 pep fest was reorganized into a virtual pep fest last fall due to COVID-19, a large crowd of Zimmerman High School students packed the gym for a festive 2021 pep fest, including the crowning of the homecoming king and queen as well as fun and games.
Senior Joe Gardas, a member of the wrestling team, and senior Abby Benson were crowned homecoming king and queen. The winner was crowned after each of the four nominees for king and queen respectively opened boxes containing three navy balloons and one light blue balloon. Whoever opened the box with the light blue balloon was crowned king and queen. Gardas and Benson opened the boxes as the crowd of students and staff roared with delight. Both Gardas and Benson were crowned by Zimmerman Assistant Principal Kurran Sagan.
The nominees for king were Gardas, Peyton Giffen, 2021-22 student council president Luke Inman, and Rylan Rivers, a member of the Zimmerman football team. The nominees for queen were Benson, Abby Larson, Breanne Plude and Abby Sterling-Morlock. The freshman court representatives were Chris Belair and Julissa Soto, the sophomore representatives were Andrew Katter and Lainie Wemhoff and the junior representatives were Hunter Dipprey and Payton McEachern.
All five days of homecoming week had themed spirit days. On Monday, Sept. 20, students dressed up in pajamas for P.J. day. On Tuesday, Sept. 21, students dressed up in animal-style print for animal day. On Wednesday, Sept. 23, it was career day. Students dressed up as various occupations, such as firefighters or nurses. On Thursday, Sept. 24, it was Wild West day, where students dressed up as 19th century western figures. Finally, on Friday, Sept. 25, homecoming week concluded with Spirit Day, as Zimmerman students showed off their Thunder pride by wearing school colors and wearing their graduating class T-shirts.
Twice a week during lunch period, the students played games with their classmates, such as Pictionary. Each grade was broken off into teams. On Thursday, there was a makeup contest, where boys tried to put makeup on girls in 90 seconds or less.
Zimmerman High School teacher Krista Bjork said the students were so excited.
“It’s so much fun when the atmosphere is going and the kids are laughing and dancing and cheering on their school,” Bjork said. “It was a great way to have [pep fest]. The kids were loud. It was super fun, and the kids got into it. Only juniors and seniors have ever been to a pep fest before. It was the freshman and sophomores’ first high school pep fest.”