Raiderfest 2013 draws crowds with food, fun and friends

The word spirit was spelled out in luminaries in the stands at Raiderfest 2013. Photo by Matthew D'Ippolito

At the final note of the “Star-Spangled Banner” ended Saturday and the crowd erupted in applause, the screams of a fire engine rang out as it made its way down to the edge of the football field.

Out jumped The Chief, and the crowd went wild.

This wasn’t a Twin Valley football game, though – it was Raiderfest and Raise the Spirit 2013.

This marked the first year the events were held together, and many who attended saw it as a success.

“There’s good food, it’s good seeing all of these people,” Mohnton resident Rick Favinger, Twin Valley class of 1973, said. “Hopefully this will grow and grow and grow and more alumni will come back.”

Food vendors were new this year and included traditional carnival food trucks, barbecue, water ice and even a cupcake stand. The alumni soccer game, which was played across the northeast end of the field and also included some faculty, was an intense competition and drew many spectators.

Visitors could also sign a canvas teepee set up near the staircase down to the field. Raise the Spirit Chair Michelle Elliott said organizers plan on using the canvas for something in the future.

“It’s a beautiful day and so far it’s going really well,” Elliott said during the event. “I’m happy with it.”

After the soccer match, athletes from Twin Valley’s various fall and winter sports gathered on the track around the field for the parade of athletes. There were performances from the cheerleaders and the marching band, and The Chief made his exciting entrance before each team was recognized.

Then, as each team proudly walked along the track with its banner before turning onto the field, the announcer showcased the highlights of the previous season and what to look forward to this year. The Berks County champion girls’ field hockey team, the final team to be recognized, had a specially-made banner and received a loud standing ovation as they took their place on the field. In the stands behind the teams, the word spirit was spelled out with luminaries.

The event, sponsored in part by the Twin Valley Community Education Foundation (TVCEF) along with a number of local companies, was described as a fun way to bring together generations of Twin Valley alumni and students and “a great way to kick off the school year” by Superintendent Bob Pleis.

“It’s a nice little atmosphere here, a nice homecoming for everybody,” Favinger said, adding that coming back and seeing all the school spirit was “like a step back in time.”

Check out our photo gallery from the event on this site! Go to http://ht.ly/ohQL2.