By Lyndsie Ferrell
DEL NORTE— On Monday, Sept. 17, Del Norte High School seniors kicked off homecoming week with a special project that will now become a long-standing tradition. As the morning sun cleared D Mountain in Del Norte the senior class of 2019 walked up the long, beaten road to the peak to paint the D branded on the mountain side.
The project has been underway for several weeks as school officials worked with local organizations to raise the funding needed to get the painting project off the ground. According to some residents in the area, painting the D on the mountain used to be something they did almost on a yearly basis. One resident reminisced about her Senior class almost 30 years ago hauling paint buckets, brushes and brooms to the mountain to paint during homecoming and stated that she was glad that the tradition has been rekindled.
The project was made possible through several donations made through Del Norte Bank to help fund the project by local business owners, residents, the Knights of Columbus and the Del Norte School District. “We want this to be a long-standing tradition from now on. It used to be something the school did every year before homecoming and for some reason it fell to the wayside. This is an amazing class of students and the project will be something they can look back on and say they started,” said Athletic Director Richie Madrid.
Homecoming week has been packed full of fun events for the community and Del Norte students. Students have participated in fun themes throughout the week like crazy hair day and twin day, not to mention Tiger pride throughout the entire week. Each grade will also participate in a movie theme day on Thursday, dressing up as favorite movie characters before the parade that will take place along Highway 160 at 3 p.m.
“We are very fortunate to have been able to do this for the community. If the D is going to be a landmark for the town then it might as well look new,” stated Madrid. Students worked throughout the morning, moving large boulders and white washing the mountainside. Now, the town can gaze upon the freshly painted landmark and renewed sense of team spirit just in time for homecoming celebrations.
The week will end with a football game against Mancos at the Adams State University football field at 7 p.m. Admission for the game is free and school officials urge the community to come and cheer on the Tigers for a winning game. The homecoming dance is Saturday night in the Tiger Field House located next to the high school.
“We just want to thank everyone who donated and the organizations that helped make this possible,” said Madrid. School officials hope to continue the tradition of painting the D well into the future.