By J1 Reporter Clare Degan
Brush off your Keds and practice tying your hair in French braids because Field Day is approaching for the first time since 2019. Field Day is an enormous tradition dating back to 1957. For years, students have showcased their school spirit and creativity through the different committees and activities. Field Day is an opportunity for students to collaborate and establish a deep sisterly bond with their classmates. Marian students are given the opportunity to learn valuable problem solving and leadership skills within strict deadlines. Students learn to stay positive in a stressful environment and look towards the overall prize and purpose of Field Day: unity.
The 2021 themes are “Saddle up Seniors: Our Last Rodeo,” with colors red and turquoise, “Juniors Just Add Sugar: When Life Gives You Lemons” with yellow and emerald green, “Sophomores’ Big Adventure: A Search for Spirit” with bubblegum pink and orange, and “Freshmen Walk the Plank” with royal blue and lilac.
The freshman and sophomore classes are excited to experience their first Field Day this year. “After the long year we’ve had, I am looking forward to spending time with my class and celebrating since we didn’t get our first Field Day last year,” sophomore Maria McLeay said. “It’s sad that we will only have three Field Days, but I think we will have more spirit because of it.”
In April 2020, Field Week was different due to the outbreak of COVID-19. Instead of participating at Baxter Arena, students took part in various activities at home such as drawing sidewalk chalk, wearing class colors while attending zoom classes and baking tasty treats. “We wanted to make the best with what we had and still get everyone involved,” Student Board member, junior Ryan Sully said. Even though the activities were a fun substitute for the real Field Day, it does not compare to the energy created at Baxter every spring. Junior Audrey Daubendiek said, “I’m excited for mascot – I can’t wait to see what it looks like when we are finished at Baxter.”
Along with the sophomores, the freshmen are working hard to promote spirit within their first Field Day. “I’m most excited to see how all of the costumes intertwine with the themes and see how it all works out,” freshman Abi Howard said. All classes are aiming for a fun-filled Field Day season with creativity and spirit.
Although the Class of 2021 did not get to participate in a traditional Field Day 2020 their junior year, the seniors are elated to be given the opportunity to demonstrate their school spirit one last time. Senior Cydney Putnam is looking forward to “working on walls, seeing the finished project and being proud of all the hard work put into them.”
Senior Samantha Jaeke is excited for “all of the Field Day outfits and the adrenaline rush right before demo.” The seniors are striving for a 2021 Field Day victory while also enjoying their last few months at Marian.
The entire Field Day experience can be overwhelming especially with COVID-19. Out of 193 students, 54.4% said they feel less prepared for the annual Field Day events due to the pandemic and the lack of traditional Field Day in 2020. Through the tough times, Marian students are striving to work together as a class and student body to establish unity.
There are new rules and regulations for Field Day this year due to the outbreak of COVID-19. At Baxter Arena, only the upper bowl is allowed for seating spectators in contrast to past years. “Out of the 3,384 seats in the upper bowl, only 1,700 tickets will be sold to spectators,” Student Board co-moderator Ms. Jessica Abel said. Instead of sitting in one column, students in each class will sit every other chair in two separate columns. Field Day will be live-streamed for anyone not able to attend the event. In addition to the new rules, the students have the task of incorporating hand sanitizer in their demonstration. “There will be six hand sanitizer stations on the arena floor and each student will use it twice,” Abel said.
The colors chosen for Field Day play a key role in outlining the basis of each theme. It is no secret that turquoise is one of the most popular colors chosen during Color Block because of its bright and energetic appearance. In a poll of 193 students, the majority said the best Field Day color is turquoise. Although turquoise was the first color pick for the last two years, it was not the first color chosen during Color Block 2021. The junior class had first pick and they chose yellow. “I’m so proud of our class for getting first pick in colors so that we could get the perfect color that matched our theme,” said junior Class Officer Anne Masek.
Whether you are experiencing your last RODEO or traveling on your first Field Day ADVENTURE with your MATEYS, Marian Field Day is a cherished time of the year where students establish a strong sense of community. Field Day creates a sense of unity among the four classes and will make this year SWEETER.