Gladiators, cowgirls and Dora the Explorer were all in the McElrath Gymnasium at Jamestown High School on Thursday night, among more than a thousand of their friends.
Although it may have looked like an elaborate costume party, the screaming youth that filled the gym were in attendance for a 33-year tradition of the school.
Battle of the Classes pits each class against each other to compete in events such as tug-of-war, relay races, volleyball events, an art contest and a dance competition.
Jamestown High School Dance Off
Senior Amber Anderson, who was dressed as a cowgirl, said that people dress up "because it's amazing."
"It makes battle more fun. We don't want to just wear the battle T-shirts, we want to stand out," Amber said.
Although the costumes, noise and events all stand out, at the heart of the night is a donation to a local charity. This year, students raised $10,000 for Community Helping Hands.
Top: Jamestown High School students, pictured here in body suits, competed during the 33rd annual Battle of the Classes. Above: Costumes varied from cowgirls and Indians to the cast of The Flintstones as students battled against each other Thursday evening.
P-J photos by Liz Skoczylas
According to Tony Dolce, student organization adviser, the students choose where the money will be donated by attending meetings and voting. Dolce said that the students chose Community Helping Hands because of its connection with the Gateway Center.
"In 33 years, we've raised nearly $250,000 for local charities in our communities. It is also a great outlet for the kids to get together in a fun competition. They really get into it. It's class and school spirit," Dolce said.
The costume aspect of the evening is something that the students have come up with on their own. Each class creates battle T-shirts that students can purchase, but, like Amber and her friends, some choose to forego the T-shirts for their own creative style.
"Over the years, it has gotten more and more interesting, it's almost become kind of a sideshow. They want to see who can outdo each other with funny costumes and just spice up the whole event," Dolce said.
Overall, though, the night is a chance for students and staff to come together for a fun night before beginning a two-week spring break.
"It's a great tradition at JHS. It's something the kids look forward to, the staff and faculty comes out and volunteers to help out with it. It's a great community event," Dolce said.