Community turns out for Winter Pacer Fest


Organizers of last month’s Winter Pacer Fest said the event was a success and are already planning Spring Pacer Fest to promote the district’s athletic teams and clubs in March 2024.

Winter Pacer Fest was held on Nov. 20 in the gym and cafeteria at Hayes High School, and it featured a pep rally to promote all the district’s winter sports teams at the middle school and high school level as well as some elementary school teams. The event was once again organized by the Pacer Spirit Committee.

Shauna Hershberger, a seventh grade language arts teacher and one of the founding members of the committee, said this week the event “went very well.”

“There was a great turnout!” Hershberger said. “We added new events to the evening, including a flash mob and a new game to wrap up the night.”

Hershberger said the event had a “fantastic turnout,” and the gymnasium was nearly filed to capacity with community members and athletes.

“We have been fortunate to have so much support from the community,” she said. “There were families representing every age group of the school district.”

Hershberger said the committee hopes people left Pacer Fest with “a strong sense of community.”

“We also hope the younger students and their families feel excited about the athletic and music programs at Dempsey and Hayes as they progress through Delaware City Schools,” she said.

Hershberger said the committee continues to add to Pacer Fest based on feedback from previous events.

“As we continue to grow and evolve as a committee, we want to keep each event fresh and special for the community,” she said. “What we are learning is it’s important to keep that sense of community for all who attend, a true pep rally feel. But to also bring in fresh ideas at each event. At this year’s Winter Pacer Fest, we added a photo booth to more immediately post pictures to social media; this was an exciting new feature for us.

“Lisa Giddings, an eighth grade science teacher at Dempsey, coordinated a rousing flash mob performed by many recognizable DCS staff members. The students in the crowd were very entertained! Mainly, we want the community to be excited to come back to each Pacer Fest event. I think we have maintained the ‘pep rally’ feel each season.”

Hershberger said Spring Pacer Fest will be held on March 4 and will focus on the spring athletic season.

Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903.

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