Every last Saturday of April since 1933 (save the years it was suspended during WWII) Winters has been holding a celebration of youth leadership, civic involvement and community connection. It’s a little event we call Youth Day. This Winters ritual has been highly successful due to the long standing town wide effort to support the festivities. Those with strong roots in town have fond memories of listening to Hugh Randolph’s civic lessons or in Germaine Hupe’s class reciting Shakespeare, all while simultaneously constructing float flowers for their class’s Youth Day float to impress in the famous parade.
Youth Day seems to be a yearly renewal of our investment in our community, where many use the opportunity to strut, shine and be seen. All have the opportunity to reconnect with one another, that is rarely afforded in our electronic, and often compartmentalized, age.
This 86 year old tradition is a preparation heavy event, with plans beginning in October of the previous year. It needs your attention to continue to survive, let alone thrive. Community memories are built on participation.
The result has been a deep rooted and abiding sense of hometown or even “home” that past residents return to reconnect with again.
Participation builds memories, and for some time now participation has been flagging. Some blame it on the disinterested youth, some blame it on the academic testing the week leading up to Youth Day. Many youth had no idea they were ever offered an opportunity to participate, in the day intended to celebrate their value in our civic situation.
I urge you to share your Youth Day stories with the youth of today in order to inspire and foster participation. I urge you to show up and be involved and to invest your time and spirit into our community.
From now until Youth Day, you are invited to join the Youth Day planning committee at Round Table Pizza every Sunday at 5 p.m. Make some happy memories, get involved. For more information on how to participate or enter into the parade, visit www.wintersyouthday.com]]>