The smell of freshly grilled hamburgers and hotdogs wafted its way across Perry Hall High School's campus Friday night, immediately following the homecoming parade along Ebenezer Road.
While tailgate parties before high school football games aren't unusual in Perry Hall, this event, which provided free food to more than 500 students and community members, was the first of its kind.
"We wanted to start a new tradition," said Dana Voso, an English teacher and co-adviser to the Student Council. "We're really pleased with the turnout. The kids put on outstanding events."
The Student Council purchased the hot food—400 hamburgers and 400 hotdogs—at a heavily discounted rate from Bill's Seafood and Catering Company in Perry Hall, while parents and students donated the snacks, desserts and drinks.
Student Council President Caraline Brown, a 17-year-old senior, said the event was a success. "A whole bunch more people showed up than we expected," she said.
Matt White, a 17-year-old senior, who is competing to become homecoming king, said the party was a great opportunity to spend time with fellow students. "The past couple of years I've been busy with marching band before the game. This is much more fun," he said.
Todd Sautters, a social studies teacher and co-adviser to the Student Council, said this year's homecoming events were in part a celebration of the freshman class of 2014, Perry Hall High School's 50th graduating class.
"We really wanted to roll out the carpet for our 50th year," said Sautters. "This is really an effort to rekindle the Perry Hall community."