As the new era of Dover High School will begin this September at the newly constructed high school on Route 8, another era will be coming to an end, but not before the present high school at 1 Pat Lynn Drive goes out with a four-day historic celebration.
Members of the Dover High School Alumni Association are planning an all-class reunion for everyone who attended Dover High School between 1928 and 2014. The reunion will take place Thursday to Sunday, June 12 to 14. As the present high school is scheduled to be demolished this fall, organizers have been planning a Coming Home event so former students may tour the high school one last time.
The summer 2013 news of the demolition led organizers to launch a Facebook page, Coming Home Dover High School. Currently the page has more than 2,500 members.
In preparation for the weekend, area residents plan to take part in the Welcome Home Blue and White Home Decoration Contest in which the exteriors of homes in the Dover area will be decorated in a blue and white theme. A $500 prize will be awarded for the best decorated home in the Capital School District.
The reunion weekend will kick off on The Green in Dover Thursday, June 12, at an Open Mic Night featuring musicians who attended Dover High School with music from the '50s through the present.
Friday events will include an early morning golf outing at Garrisons Lake Golf Course while several multi-class reunions will be hosted around the Dover area Friday evening. A teacher and staff reunion will also take place Friday with over 100 teachers from years past expected to attend.
Organizers have set their sights on putting Dover High School and 1 Pat Lynn Drive in the Guinness World Records. They hope to break the Largest Recorded School Reunion Attended by Alumni record, set nearly a decade ago by Stadium High School in Tacoma, Wash.
The main events of the weekend will be hosted on the grounds of the high school Saturday, June 14. Among the activities will be a 5K run, a last women’s basketball game, last men’s basketball games, I’m Getting Too Old For This kickball, an athletes' reunion, alumni art and photography show, era fashion show and an alumni picnic.
Saturday evening the alumni association will host The Last Dance at the high school. Music will be provided by bands which have ties to the school. Five era-specific dance halls are planned with era-specific music being played in each hall. While attendees are encouraged to dress in the fashion of their high school years, the dress code for the event is comfortable and come-as-you-are. A secured parking area will be provided for those who wish to arrive in their vintage, classic and muscle vehicles.
The weekend will wind down Sunday with an interdenominational service at Central Middle School’s auditorium, followed by a memorial reading to honor and remember former classmates, teachers, staff and administrators who have passed away. A special tribute is planned to honor Dover High School’s late and beloved Principal Pat Lynn. At the conclusion of the memorial reading, a release of doves will take place. The dove release is sponsored by Trader’s Funeral Home of Dover.
Finally, an official passing of the torch ceremony will take place beginning at both Central Middle School and William Henry Middle School, both former high schools in Dover, where a torch will depart each location and be carried to 1 Pat Lynn Drive before making its way to the new high school on Route 8. Incoming Dover High School freshmen will carry the torch onto the new high school grounds.
Tickets for the reunion may be purchased at several locations in the greater Dover area including C.F. Schwartz Toyota, Forney’s Jewelers, Townsend Brothers Chevrolet and Price Honda. The event is expected to be a sellout, as tickets are limited.
Early-bird ticket prices will be honored through Wednesday, May 14, at a cost of $15 per person or $25 per couple. One ticket is required per attendee and is good for all events of the weekend excluding the golf outing. Event schedules are included with ticket purchase. Printed ticket prices go into effect May 15 at $20 per person or $30 per couple.
Alumni are encouraged to join the Facebook page, Coming Home Dover High School, to follow the event. Those wishing to assist with the activities of the weekend or to participate in the athletic events should call the event hotline at 302-670-5400.