Mark your calendar for 2020

By: 
Alexis Barker

Co-planners Tracy Olson and Jennifer Smith hope to have class floats and cars line Main Street in Newcastle for the 2020 All-School Reunion, just like this picture from the 2015 Newcastle High School All-School Reunion. (NLJ file photo)

All-School Reunion is back on!

 

Alexis Barker

NLJ Reporter

 

Newcastle High School graduates Tracy Olson, class of 1986, and Jennifer Smith, class of 1989, have adopted the All-School Reunion tradition as their own after they learned there was a chance the event would not continue, and will host the event in 2020. 

“Basically, why I took over is I read in the paper that the All-School Reunion was most likely not going to occur anymore,” Olson said. “I just couldn’t see it end. It is one of my favorite events, and I didn’t want to see it end.”

Smith cited similar reasons for wanting to see the event that brings former students of Newcastle High School together for a few days every five years. 

“I feel the reunion is a wonderful tradition that was started the year I graduated from high school,” Smith said. “I have attended each one since and was disappointed when I heard that it was possibly not going to be held in 2020. So I was happy to jump at the chance to help when Tracy contacted me.” 

In previous years, Smith said, the turnout has been exceptional, thanks to the previous committee headed by Ann McColley. She said that she and Olson hope to continue to bring classmates and teachers of all ages back to town. According to Smith, the event has also been great for the local economy because so many families spend time and money when they come home to see former classmates and teachers. 

McColley isn’t quite out of the All-School Reunion scene yet, though. Olson said they are using her for advice and direction while planning their first event. 

“We are still in the very beginning stages of planning. We don’t have any concrete plans yet,” Olson said, although they do have some rough ideas of what the weekend should entail. 

“We are planning for the Fourth of July weekend in 2020 – Friday the third through the fifth,” Olson said. “We have spoken to the Flying V, and they are more than happy to do an event Friday the third, most likely a music event.” 

On the Fourth, the duo hopes to team up with Pinnacle Bank for the 4th at the 4-Way event initiated last year. 

“We are planning to meet with Pinnacle Bank employees to include their 4th at the 4-Way celebration as a reunion gathering place,” Smith said. “We also want to incorporate the traditional reunion parade with what last year was the Fourth of July parade.” 

Olson said that she and Smith hope that each class will enter a car or float into the parade and they are encouraging class representatives to get their graduating classes involved. 

“We are using class reps to help organize the floats. They will also plan their own individual class activities and get any information out to their class members,” Olson said. 

The other event the co-planners are hoping to continue is what has been typically a barbecue event. They hope to continue the tradition on Saturday after the parade. 

“We are thinking of having a teacher social in conjunction with the BBQ so you can see your teachers from the past,” Smith said. “This is a new idea. One of the teachers on our Facebook page mentioned wanting a teacher section, and Jennifer and I talked about having a time where all the teachers are in one place, possibly at the BBQ.”

Both women are encouraging anyone interested in helping with the event, whether businesses, organizations or individuals, to contact Olson at tracyolson23@hotmail.com or Smith at jennweigel@hotmail.com. A Facebook page has also been created, NewcastleAllSchoolReunion, where information will be continually updated. 

“We are just really excited to keep this great tradition going,” Olson said.

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