For the first time ever, McNary will be hosting Blue Day on a Friday night under the lights — graphic done by 2019 McNary grad Ian Koenig (Submitted).

The smell of fall sports will be in the air on Friday, August 23 as McNary High student-athletes will take over the campus for the school’s eighth annual Blue Day — organized by Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) officers at McNary.

While it’s been a successful event in the past, this Blue Day will be a little different than in previous years, with one of the biggest differences being the time and date of the event.

Blue Day has taken place on a Saturday morning for the past seven years, but FBLA instructor Brad Lomax wanted to spice things up and have the event on a Friday night under the lights. 

“It was getting a little stagnant on Saturday mornings. It’s been awesome, but we were just looking for a little bit of change,” Lomax said. “We were looking for a way to enhance it and make it better.” 

“There’s still more room for growth, but I think having it on the Friday night is something new and exciting.”

The day will get started at 4 p.m. with exhibitions from multiple McNary Youth Football teams — third and fourth grade squads will lead things off, followed by the fifth and sixth grade teams at 4:30 p.m. and the seventh and eighth grade teams at 5 p.m.

McNary’s cross country team will be recognized at 5:45 p.m. Then, the Celtics volleyball and boys soccer teams will hold their own inter-squad scrimmages at 6 p.m. — volleyball will be in the gym. 

The girls soccer team will scrimmage at 6:30 p.m., which will be followed by a cheerleading performance at 7 p.m. and a scrimmage from the McNary freshmen football team. The junior varsity football squad will play at 7:30 p.m.

The evening will conclude with recognition of the 2018 Mountain Valley Conference champion varsity football squad, as well as a scrimmage from the varsity team. 

However, one of the other differences on this year’s edition of Blue Day is that it isn’t just about sports.

There will also be different McNary clubs and activities present at the event — including Latino club, knitting club, JROTC and dance team.

Although they weren’t able to get as many non-sports related clubs as they would have liked, FBLA wants to grow the non-sports related portion of Blue Day in the future. 

“We really want to involve as many groups as we can to show the community what we have going on at McNary,” McNary student and FBLA president Nicole Russell said. 

Lomax also added: “We don’t want kids showing up to school at 7:30 (a.m.) and leaving and 2:20 (p.m.). We want them to be involved and have a spot to be connected. “It’s not just about sports. It’s a chance to be a part of what we’re doing here.”

Scenic Valley Farms will be on hand to barbeque burgers and hot dogs, while Kona Ice will be serving up snow cones. Spectators will also be able to purchase food from the concession stand. 

To go along with the action on the field will be multiple activities, including a climbing wall, a blow-up jousting area and a dunk tank. 

The National Guard will also be on hand for the event. 

“It’s been a lot of work, but it’s been worth it,” Russell said. “I’m just excited to see how it all lays out.”

With the construction still going on at McNary, parking will be more limited than normal for this event. 

Contact Matt Rawlings at [email protected]