Queen Kaskeski declares a holiday
By LOGAN D. MABE
© St. Petersburg Times,
WESTCHASE -- In all her regal splendor, Davidsen Middle School principal Becky Kaskeski bade her 1,300 students welcome to the school's annual Medieval Fair.
"I invited all of my subjects to come to the queendom today," said Kaskeski, dressed in a garnet gown.
Friday afternoon, Davidsen students put aside their books and papers to join in some Renaissance relaxation. With a DJ pumping out the tunes, kids descended on the school's track and infield, where 54 activities had been set up by parents and volunteers.
The Medieval Fair is sponsored by the school's PTSA, which Kaskeski described as "awesome."
Students participated in rock climbing, bowling, a 40-foot obstacle-slide, a bungee challenge -- even archery. Interspersed among the games were refreshment booths with hot dogs, sodas, candy and smoked turkey legs.
"A lot of people are kind of happy," said eighth-grader Chris Chrosniak, who had just made it over the top of a rain-slicked inflatable obstacle course. "This year is a lot better so far, from what I've seen."
Ryan Hudson, also in the eighth grade, gave his principal credit for letting students revel in the olden-times festivities. "I'm glad she did it, and she did a pretty good job last year," Ryan said.
Students were encouraged to come in period costumes, though most didn't. But seventh-grader Curtis Stanley made the best of the opportunity and came to the fair dressed in a black wizard outfit.
"I pretended I was casting spells on people," Curtis said. "I tried turning people into frogs."
Did it work? "No," he said. "I wish."
Teachers also got into the spirit. Business tech teacher Karyl Fellows came in classic peasant garb. "I'm the lowest of the low, the scum of the Earth," Fellows joked. "I'm sure there are bigger things out there for me than being a peasant the rest of my life."
Seventh-grader Jessica Jeide and sixth-grader Cecilie Murray arrived in matching purple sorceress costumes. "This only happens once a year, so why not make the most of it?" said Jessica, who tried out a couple of curses inspired by the Harry Potter books. "But they didn't work."
Assistant principal Tim Binder said the event is so popular that the school has its highest attendance rate on the day it is held. And the "dungeon," a detention room for students who get in trouble, was hardly used at all Friday, he said.
- Logan D. Mabe can be reached at (813) 226-3464 or at email@example.com
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