Back to school bash in Lanett

Published 5:07 pm Friday, August 6, 2021

LANETT — A just-for-fun competition among local high school students takes place Saturday evening on the playground across from W.O. Lance Elementary School. It’s Back to School Bash 2021, and four high schools in Chambers County will be taking part.

Students from Valley, Lanett, Springwood and LaFayette high schools will be competing in events such as running an obstacle course and designing a t-shirt. A coach from each school will be participating in an eating contest and a coach and his wife will be in a wheelbarrow race.

There will be a stage on the field, and each school will be assembled in separate groups.

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“We will welcome everyone at 5 p.m., and the events will get started about ten minutes later,” said Lanett Recreation Director Trent McCants, who is directing the event. “We will be giving away 100 book bags filled with school supplies. There will be at least 10 vendors on site cooking food, and a portion of First Street will be blocked off. There will be ample parking near the site and in the downtown area.”

Each school will have one coach taking part in the eating contest. They will try to put away as many hot wings as they can.

One coach from each school will be pushing his wife in a wheelbarrow.

Lanett firefighters will set up an obstacle course on the playground, and each school will have a 12-member team going through it. The winning team will receive a cash prize for their school.

A panel of judges will choose the best shirt design. Their school will win a cash prize as well.

Cheerleaders from all four schools are expected to attend along with the bands from Valley High and Lanett High.

“We are hoping for a big turnout on Saturday,” McCants said. “I would like for this to continue next year and perhaps to have more local schools involved. We are trying to make it a fun day for everyone. We will have bouncers on site for the smaller kids. I can remember the Back to School Bash events that used to take place in downtown West Point. They were great, and we’d like to have that same kind of fun for the participating schools this year. This will be the final weekend before school starts, and we’d like to start the new school year on a high note.”

McCants has been the recreation director in Lanett for the past two months.

“We have been very busy this summer,” he said. “It has been more challenging than I expected, but I am really enjoying it. I have gotten a lot of support from the citizens, and I really appreciate that.”

McCants said that one of his goals is to have recreational opportunities for those in the 19-to-50 age group.

“There’s lots for them to do when they are in school but when they leave it seems like they are not thought about again until they are senior citizens. I am getting a lot of volunteer help from people in that age group. I would like to have some recreational programs they could participate in.”

McCants said he would like to see the Back to School Bash tradition continue in the local area. He said that the host site could move around from year to year.

“The main thing is that we can get together and do something for our young people — to do something they really enjoy,” he said.