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GBHS Homecoming bonfire celebration a smashing success
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Thursday night, Great Bend High School students gathered around a pit containing a bonfire, the focal point of an outdoor party held by the Panther Parents and GBHS Stuco in anticipation of the varsity football teams homecoming game against the Dodge City Demons Friday night. - photo by VERONICA COONS, Great Bend Tribune

Thursday night, students at Great Bend High School were invited to a bonfire at the rural property of Jeff and Sally Mauler, executive members of the Great Bend Parents and Great Bend High School Boosters Club.  Members of Great Bend High School Student Council and several parents were on hand to serve hotdogs, man a s’mores booth, and oversee a car smash.  
Panther coach Tony Crough made an appearance to rev up the crowd of teams in anticipation of Friday night’s game against the Dodge City Demons.  The fire was kept blazing as donated pallets were tossed into a pit dug for the occasion as a precaution against any potential wind.  Music blasted from speakers atop a flatbed, and students wearing glow-in-the-dark bands danced, erupting into an impromptu dance-off.   
Finally, it was time for the varsity team to observe curfew, and the party began to break up.  After a few more photos by the demolished car, the last of the students pulled away.
This is the second year the Panther Parents have opted to hold a bonfire before the game in lieu of a dance after the game.  In 2013, attendance at the dance had reached a new low of fewer than 100 students in attendance.  Thursday night, while there was no official attendance taken, the excitement level and number of cars and trucks parked at the edge of the Mauler’s property indicated the event was well received.