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BOO-tiful day at Bobby Ray
Boo Fest - Freya facepainting.jpg
Three tables were set up in one of the classrooms to offer various types of face painting. Freya Meyers is pictured receiving a glittery touch-up to the pink mermaid scales she had painted on her cheek. - photo by Nikki Childers

An evening of family fun awaited visitors at Bobby Ray Elementary’s annual Boo-Fest on Friday night.

They had all the ingredients needed to make a night of fun for any family, from bouncy houses and games, to face-painting and delicious snacks like popcorn and cotton candy. A new feature this year was a free movie, “Casper the Friendly Ghost.”

The event was a collaborative effort between many of the teachers, but Landon Lopez, Haleigh Johnson and principal Monti Hillis were credited as the driving forces behind bringing the festivities to life. Participating teachers came up with various activities to offer in their classrooms, including fingernail painting, a treat walk and cornhole. For parents, a silent auction took place in the cafeteria.

“We were worried about COVID, but everyone really came together. We were able to keep the cost low, which was our goal all along, as we wanted to make it accessible to everyone possible,” said Johnson. “The kids are so excited. I just love seeing the kids with their faces painting and playing games, just having fun.”

Hillis was thrilled with the turnout and was glad to see students and their parents milling about the campus.

“The best part of all this is seeing the parents and kids in a setting that we normally don’t see them. We get to meet their parents, siblings. Some of the staff bring their children and grandchildren. It’s just a great opportunity for us to connect with everyone,” said Hillis. “Over the last year, we couldn’t show people part of the school due to the renovations. Now, everything is finished, and we know the parents have been wanting to see it. Tonight gave us a chance to show them that.”

Many of the items at Boo-Fest were donated by local businesses and Johnson was grateful for their contributions to make the night possible.

“We are so appreciative of everyone who helped us by donating items for the Boo-Fest,” Johnson explained. “We didn’t get to have Boo-Fest, or any of our other interactive events, last year so we are happy to get to have it this year.”