BY SAM SCINTA WEEKLY REPORTER
O’FALLON – The O’Fallon Township High School Smiley Campus played host over the weekend to the O’Fallon Spirit Fest, a cheer and dance competition for Junior High and High School programs.
The program is an annual event hosted by the O’Fallon Township High School Cheerleaders at the beginning of the competition schedule.
This year the event was presented by the Bank of O’Fallon.
“This is a great event with a great atmosphere,” OTHS Cheer Coach Twana Dollison said. “It helps the teams transition from the football game mindset to the mindset you need to be successful in competition.”
OTHS’ Panther Dome held the performance floor and spectator seating, but the event sprawled across the hallways of 600 South Smiley Street, featuring a Cheer Mall full of vendors selling everything from handbags to home-made jewelry. Vendors paid $50.00 for a table and an ad in the Spirit Fest Program that was handed out at the door.
O’Fallon Cheer was also selling advertising for the event, with ads running anywhere from $20 to $250 per spot.
Unique Candy Bouquets as well as traditional floral bouquets were on sale in the Cheer Mall and were made by members of the team and their families. The items are always a popular seller at the event and again sold out quickly.
In addition to concessions and other food items, the cheerleaders also raised funds by selling Spirit Grams. The grams went for a dollar a piece and were read aloud on the PA system before the respective team’s performed. All Spirit Grams were handed out to the teams at the end of the day.
Spirit Fest Cheer Wear was also a popular item, as anything from T-shirts to hoodies with the event’s logo and date on it were up for sale.
Tickets for the event ranged from $3-5, and doors opened at 9 a.m.
“This is a really important fundraiser for us,” Dollison added. “But it means a lot more to provide this kind of environment for all these teams to cheer in and gain a lot of valuable experience in.”
Groups from Fulton and Carriel Junior Highs performed at Spirit Fest, as well as the OTHS Cheerleaders. The event will serve as the kick-off for the rest of the competition slate for all four teams.