The South Pasadena High School Gymnasium exploded with orange and black recently as students, teachers,
administrators, even a smattering of parents, joined forces to celebrate ‘Color Day.’ Photo by Tony Chen

It was a massive ocean of orange and black in what appeared to be the entire student body that had squeezed inside the school’s gymnasium this past Friday morning and were exhibiting a nuclear-like energy in support of South Pasadena High School.

They call it “Color Day” and it’s considered by those on hand to be the “best day of the school year.” It’s certainly one that’s filled with an abundance of school spirit literally bursting out of the seams of all that might try to keep it inside.

There was the pounding of the drums, the blaring of the trumpets, the choregraphed dance and the costumes. One cannot forget the costumes that change from year-to-year, longtime observers say, that defy imaginative gravity.

As an example, the social studies department of teachers came as famed Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Facing front, the teachers all dressed the part of RGB, as she has become affectionately known, and, as they turned around, on their backs were the letters “notorious” after the recently released documentary “RBG.”

In another example, the top SPHS administrators donned space outfits, entitled “SPHS SPACE FORCE.”

“It was the idea of principal Janet Anderson and we all corroborated,” said Assistant Principal David Speck. “This is such a great day. The school spirit is so powerful and it’s the first (Rio Hondo League) football game.”

The Tigers varsity football team opened league against perennial powerhouse San Marino later that night. (see Sports)

Football coach Jeff Chi was outside the gym, perhaps going over that night’s game plan against San Marino. The team had ended its preseason on a sour note, losing to Eagle Rock, 68-0. But this Friday morning, Chi was enthusiastic about the school spirit that was being shown.

“This is for the kids,” Chi said. “They are having a great time and it’s important for them. Sometimes they can feel stress and it’s great to see them enjoying themselves. That’s important.”

Teacher Melissa Cheng agreed, saying “this is fantastic.”

“This is very exciting,” Cheng said, while the volume was increasing with music, dance and games. “The spirit is great for the High School. I love it every year. I think it’s the best day of the whole school year.”

The sophomore class dominated much of the games played. They won the rope tug-of-war and another game called “Find the Item.”

Cathleen Hoadley, part of a smattering of parents in attendance, said she’s been coming to this event every year “for a long time.” She said she’d probably come to it even if she didn’t have kids in the school. As it is, she said, she does have kids in school and she will attending “Color Day” for another five years, at least.

“The costumes are fantastic,” Hoadley said. “Each year, they are so different and just amazing. This is the most fun day of the school year.”

When the celebration was over, and the teachers, parents, and hundreds of students left the gym behind, the spirit continued outside as students funneled back to their respective classes. The noise level only began to subside as each student found their next destination and settled into the rest of their school day.

Steve Whitmore
Author

Steve Whitmore is the editor for the South Pasadena Review. Steve has spent more than four decades as an award-winning print and broadcast journalist with a 16-year stint as the senior media advisor for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. Steve comes to us from the Keene Sentinel in Keene, New Hampshire, where he covered politics and was a columnist.

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