A safe send off for graduating seniors for 26 years.
For the past 26 years, graduating seniors in the Fountain Hills Unified School District have said goodbye to their high school years with a class-wide, all-night, chaperoned party courtesy of their parents. Known as the Falcon Fiesta, nearly 80% of every graduating class attends. It’s an event all Falcons looks forward to from the time they become freshman, made possible in part this year by a $2700 grant from the Fountain Hills Community Foundation.
“It’s a really good tradition,” Falcon Fiesta President, Julie Heaney, said. “It’s a safe, drug and alcohol-free environment where kids can go to have fun with their classmates one last time.”
Parents involved with the nonprofit LLC fundraise all year to offset costs associated with the event. Attendees are graduating seniors, who can bring a junior, senior, or previous year’s graduate as a guest.
During the celebration, guests compete for tickets they can use to enter raffles for prizes they can often use in the fall at college. This year’s theme, Kicking it Old School, will feature classic games like tug of war, dodgeball, and trike races. There will be a DJ, ice cream truck, and costume contest.
“Grads pay $50 to attend but they’ll leave with a gift worth at least $50,” Heaney said. “People are really generous because they know how important it is for these kids to have something safe and fun to do on their last night as high school students.”
This year marks the 26th Falcon Fiesta, a tradition that was cancelled in 2020 and scaled back in 2021 due to COVID. Heaney said a portion of the FHCF grant will be used to award two cash prizes along with sponsorships for kids who can’t afford the $50 admission ticket.
“There are so many unknowns on graduation night, things kids can do that aren’t in their best interest,” she said. “We are using the grant money to give the kids a little more structure and fun on graduation night. We make sure each kid has an opportunity to go and will help any way we can.”
Individuals interested in volunteering for this year’s Falcon Fiesta on Friday, May 27, can sign up online: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/20f0f4faba82ba0f94-volunteer