Students Gear Up for Spring Traditions


Willy Gras 2018. Credit: Williston Flickr

Spring is here, and Williston students and faculty alike are gearing up for the return of their favorite seasonal traditions.

Events like Willy Gras, Prom, and Graduation with underclassmen, are just a few examples of events that have been completely cancelled or modified over the past couple of years due to Covid, but this year the Williston community looks to welcome them back with open arms.

In the Spring of 2020, school was completely remote. Then in the Spring of 2021, events were modified or didn’t happen because of the ongoing pandemic. With cases down and masks off, school looks more normal and students can look ahead to typical festivities.

Sarah Markey, senior Class President and a leader of the Wildestcats, is looking forward to the class canoe race at Willy Gras.

“Willy Gras as a whole is completely awesome and so fun,” she said. “I love the class spirit and competitiveness.”

Willy Gras will take place this year on Wednesday, May 25.

Sarah, whose older brother, Nat Markey ’20, went to Williston and had his senior Spring remotely, is glad Williston community is finally able to have a normal Spring.

“It’s heartbreaking to think about how much we’ve missed,” she said. “When my brother lost his senior Spring at the beginning of COVID, I don’t think I completely comprehended the loss of the class of 2020. Now, as a senior, I’m just so thankful we have the next two months.”

Benning Johnson, a senior and leader of the Wildestcats, is looking forward to Willy Gras, senior events, and most importantly the weather in what he says is the best season at Williston.

“While I love Willy Gras, and I am really excited for Prom and other senior-specific events, my favorite part of Williston in the spring is the weather and how beautiful the campus is,” Benning said. “Spring weekends make it extra hard to believe I will soon be graduating from this amazing place!”

Some senior events that Benning mentioned include Prom, which will take place on Sunday, May 22, and Graduation, which will take place on Saturday, May 28.

Erin Davey, the Director of Student Activities, echoes Benning that Spring is so enjoyable because of the weather and traditions like Willy Gras.

“I feel like the Spring is full of traditions,” Davey said. “I love Willy Gras because the weather is beautiful, and the entire community comes together to have some fun, and play some games. It also always has a different theme and different activities.”

Davey also added the importance of Spring to the seniors.

“Celebrating the seniors is always a lot of fun,” she said. “Weekend after weekend we center the seniors to make sure that their last couple of months at Williston are a fun and positive experience.”

Violet Carroll, a ninth-grade boarder from Milton, Mass., has never experienced a Williston Spring, but has expectations from what she has gathered from older students.

“I have heard a lot about the Spring traditions at Williston, but I have mainly heard of Willy Gras,” she said. “The older students told me all about it. I’ve heard it’s really fun and there is lots of school spirit. I could tell that it is a festival that everyone looks forward to and enjoys.”

Violet is also a member of the softball team, and is looking forward to the rest of the season, as well as the good weather.

“So far, [softball] has been so much fun even though I’ve only participated for a week,” she said. “Spending time with my teammates all day after school is awesome… Softball and all the activities that happen in the spring are going to be 10x more fun while it is hot outside. Everyone will be able to hang around on the porch, play spike ball, football, and just hang out. I can’t wait for Spring!”