McLean hosts Fun Fair celebration

Students participate in outdoor activities as an end of year event

With five days left before the end of the 2021-22 school year, administrators, staff and the McLean Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) provided students with the school’s first Fun Fair. Planning took place for over two months prior to the event and included a wide-variety of activities for students to enjoy after completing their first final of the week.

“It’s been a hard, long, tough year for students,” assistant principal Jennifer York said. “[The event was] to take the edge off, to have a good time, and to celebrate that we’ve made it to the end of the year.”

The event was created through the collaboration of administrators, the Health and Physical Education Department (PE Department) and the PTSA, which helped provide funding for the Fun Fair. Talk of the Town, an entertainment and party rental service, ran the activities on the practice field, while the PE Department oversaw games on the football field.

“We [brought] the Talk of the Town (TOTT) entertainment company, and their new attraction, Hippo Chow Down, is a popular one where players stretch on a bungee cord and reach to scoop balls into a pit,” said Savitha Parvataneni Sagar, PTSA Vice President of Programs. “The McLean High School PTSA has engaged TOTT in the past for many events and more recently for the 2021 Graduation celebration, Celebrate McLean in 2021 Fall and 2022 Graduation Party.”

The event provided students and staff with the opportunity to participate in an end-of-year celebration as a group, which has not been possible in recent years.

“The last few years, for everybody, have been very different than previous years. We acknowledge that for staff and students,” PE teacher Jenny Sobota said. “I think we want…to end the year on a high note and have…a social outing because, again, the last couple years, those things have not ended up happening as frequently as they have in the past.”

The event had not been offered in McLean before, marking this year as the first time this has happened.

“It has not actually been given a formal name. It is just something we were putting together” York said. “We have never done it before. We just thought it would be fun and a good way to celebrate students and give a treat at the end of the year.”

The large-scale event required extensive planning and staff considered numerous details, such as the number of people who would participate in the games, to ensure it was a success.

“I think [it was a challenge] just thinking about how many students are actually going to attend with it being the only final of the day,” Sobota said. “For us, trying to plan how many spikeball nets and how much equipment we’re going to need, I think that’s probably been the toughest part.”

Despite the work involved, those who helped plan and run the event were encouraged by its positive outcome.

“I know for us with PE classes when we do some of the activities that are…out there,” Sobota said, “[it is rewarding] to see all the kids having fun and enjoying spending time with each other in a social setting, …celebrating the year and going out with a good memory.”

Administrators hope to continue to host the Fun Fair in coming years to commemorate the completion of each school year.

“We will see about making it a tradition if we can, so an end-of-the-year celebration and a beginning of the year celebration with Celebrate McLean,” Principal Ellen Reilly said.