09/08/11 The official Blueberry Festival parking on the grounds of Plymouth High School has long been a great source of funding for many of the extracurricular activities for the schools. This year, however, the pot took a $20,000 hit. Using the school facilities for parking started sometime the 1980′s, but there are only statistics recorded since 1992.
During the school board meeting on Tuesday night, Superintendent Daniel Tyree said they took in $46,000 this year compared to $61,000 last year. Tyree said, “Parking on Saturday was the worst one ever.”
Overseeing the parking lot preparation and actual parking shifts was PHS Head Speech and Debate Coach David McKenzie. Along with McKenzie, Charlotte Tyree, also a Speech and Debate Coach, serves as the liaison between the Blueberry Committee and the high school administrators. Both McKenzie and Tyree log additional hours in the time prior to, during, and/or after the festival as well.
The set-up started the Monday before the Labor Day weekend. Each day after school from3:30-5:00 p.m.there wereeight to twelvestudents each from speech, theatre, and broadcasting; two from band and choir; and three from Spanish Club.
According to McKenzie, there were over 500 students parking anywhere from one to four shifts with each shift approximately four and one-half hours. Along with the students, 150 adults worked shifts on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday.
Band sponsors, students and volunteers took care of dismantling the lots and picking up all of the trash in the grassy areas of the campus from about2:00 p.m.until6:00 p.m.on Monday.
McKenzie said, “A conservative estimate would place us at over 1,000 adult hours and 2, 500 student hours during the week prior to the festival and over the Labor Day weekend.
Groups parking over the weekend included the PHS Band, the PHS Broadcasting Department, the PHS Choirs, the Lincoln Junior High Speech Parents, the Riverside PTO, the PHS Spanish Club, the PHS Speech and Debate Team, and the PHS Theatre Department (Crew and Acting).
“In a typical year, we park approximately 12,000 to 15,000 cars on the high school grounds – even more if there is a home football game that year. “ McKenzie said.
Carol Anders Correspondent