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Fairmont fall pep fest returning to its downtown roots

FAIRMONT — Continuing with tradition is important when it comes to keeping people together.

With that in mind, Fairmont High School’s fall sports pep fest this year will take place at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Citizens Park in downtown Fairmont.

Activities director Mat Mahoney and high school co-principal Jake Titeje estimate the pep fest, until recently, had been held downtown since at least the early or mid-1990s.

“There was a long-standing tradition of having it downtown,” Mahoney said.

He said Deb Heinrich was responsible for organizing the event in the beginning, by talking to the city and getting everything approved.

“She was the glue behind this in all reality,” he said.

For about the last four years, the fall pep fest took place at the high school “horseshoe,” in conjunction with an activity fair and seventh- and eighth-grade orientation.

“We thought we would go back to having it downtown where it’s more community-driven,” Mahoney said. “Our community is very supportive in what we do. This is a small, simple thank-you to them.”

Tietje hopes the pep fest can help businesses downtown. He pointed out there are retailers that sell Cardinal gear.

“You can pack a lot of people in that area and it feels like a fun environment,” Mahoney said.

He said every varsity sport will be highlighted during the pep fest. The coaches will each talk about the upcoming season and highlight the captains, as well as introduce every player on the team. The cheerleaders will offer an introduction and close the pep fest with the school song.

Mahoney said they moved up the pep fest sooner than it was held in the past, because when it was later in the month, some sports had already had a few games.

“It’s a true pep fest where you can rev everybody up before the season starts,” Tietje said.

The Fairmont Booster Club will sell food. Fall passes, football cards and Cardinal clothing will be available.

The community is welcome and encouraged to attend.

An activities fair, orientation for junior high students and open house will still take place this year, on Aug. 28. Parents and students will be able to meet the new principals and their teachers as well as ask questions.

Academic informational meetings for students and parents will be held in the performing arts center at the high school, for the seventh grade from 6-6:30; eighth grade from 6:30-7; ninth grade from 7-7:30; and for grades 10-12 from 7:30-8.

Following the informational meetings, the activities fair will take place in the commons, with booths set up to showcase each of the high school’s 40 activities. A sign-up sheet will be available.

“We have a lot of great opportunities for our students. We want to showcase all of the great things that students can be a part of,” Tietje said.

“We want kids to try and find one thing that they can connect with and that fits them,” Mahoney added.

After the activities fair, teachers will be in their classrooms so students and parents can walk through their schedules.

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