McHENRY – Local business owners will host events this weekend for McHenry Community High School District 156 students whose homecoming events were canceled or postponed because of the ongoing teachers strike.
District officials Wednesday scrapped Friday's homecoming game and announced that the homecoming dance scheduled for Saturday would be postponed as negotiations between the school board and the McHenry Community High School Educators' Association continued.
Local DJ Kilian Kray, a 2008 graduate of McHenry West High School, said the idea of hosting a homecoming alternative at the Just for Fun Roller Rink in McHenry came to him when he heard some students lamenting the canceled events.
“This is what students look forward to in the beginning of the school year,” Kray said. “They want a dance, so let's give them a dance.”
Kray and and fellow DJ Tristan Barnes partnered with rink co-owner Lisa Tagliapietra to offer students a dance at the rink from 7 to 11 p.m. Saturday. Admission to the event is free for McHenry high school students with a student ID. Students without an ID or those from another school will need to have a note from their parents to attend.
Saturday's party will be strictly dancing, with no skates allowed on the floor, Kray said.
The strike entered its sixth day Thursday. School, as well as all activities, has been canceled since Oct. 1. Even with a negotiation session slated Thursday night, the football team couldn't meet Illinois High School Association rules mandating practices before a game.
McHenry Outdoor Theater owner Scott Dehn announced through a Facebook post Thursday that McHenry High School students will receive a free large popcorn and large drink if they present their school ID at the drive-in this weekend. The theater will show "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" and – as a coincidence – "The Warriors."
“I know that a night at the movies may not compare to a homecoming dance or football game,” Dehn's post read. “But at least it is something to do with their friends that is safe and fun.”