An incredible throng of more than 2,000 turned out for the homecoming bonfire and festival at Huntington High School on Thursday night. Games, food, music and folks of all ages created a remarkably festive party atmosphere.
The sheer size of the massive crowd surpassed all expectations of organizers. It is believed to be the first bonfire of this type in about 65 years, since the high school was located on Main Street (in what is the current town hall) and the Blue Devils used Heckscher Park’s fields for athletic events.
Homecoming is a fun time for Huntington High School students.
“It’s hard to even describe how proud I am of our school and our community this evening,” Principal Brenden Cusack said. “So many people worked together to make this event possible and I am so grateful. In a place like Huntington where pride and tradition run so deep, it is truly a privilege to have been a part of this beautiful night. Our bonfire celebration certainly made one thing very clear: Huntington knows how to throw a party.”
The celebration drew students and their parents from every grade level. There were inflatable games, a DJ taking requests and spinning tunes, dancing, pizza, snacks, desserts and a hot grill. Even the robotics team got into the act, showing off its robot.
The Huntington Highsteppers dance squad, the Ready Step team and the high school’s chamber choir all performed to the delight of the crowd. The Blue Devil varsity football team was introduced to the community. Hundreds of alumni were on hand for the event.
“This night was about a community filled with pride and love,” Huntington Superintendent James W. Polansky said. “A beautiful setting and a huge group of outstanding children and adults that make it clear there is no place like Huntington.”
When darkness took hold and the bonfire was lit the crowd went wild. Flames shot high into the sky and intense heat was felt by everyone ringing the area. It was an amazing sight.
A better script for the evening could not have been written. As if on cue, fireworks lit up the sky at about 8:15 p.m. Who was responsible and where they originated from no one knows, but they added a wonderful touch to the celebration.
“Thank you to Mr. Cusack, student government advisors David Moriarty and Danielle Raguzin, the many other teachers and staff members who were in attendance, the buildings and grounds and security staffs and the high school teams and clubs that contributed to an incredible event and one that will not soon be forgotten,” Mr. Polansky said. “Special thanks to the Huntington Manor Fire Department for their expertise and support. A great night for everyone involved!”
Homecoming week will continue on Friday when the high school holds an afternoon pep rally at Blue Devil Stadium. There will be multiple live performances along with an introduction of fall varsity athletic teams. The night hours will see hundreds of students constructing class floats for Saturday’s 11 a.m. parade through the village and up New York Avenue. All eight Huntington UFSD schools will be marching in the parade.
The varsity football team will battle visiting Copiague at 2 p.m. on Saturday in the weekend’s centerpiece game. The Blue Devil marching band will perform its field show at halftime. The halftime ceremonies will also include an announcement of the Homecoming Day king and queen and the winning class float.
This year’s Homecoming Day Royal Court includes king nominees Jack Jamison, Diego Torres, Zubair Ali and Ethan Mulroy and queen nominees Bella Thompson, Maddy Kye, Cat Jamison and Izzy Toscano.
Homecoming 2019 is set to go down in history as one of Huntington High School’s greatest.