PERU - Organizers of Peru Central School's homecoming weekend are hoping the annual event will be bigger and better than ever.

This year, the committee of students and

faculty behind the event have added a bonfire and 5K run to the weekend's festivities as a means of drawing in more people from the community.

"We're trying to draw as many people as possible," said Ernie Rock, a member of the high school's junior class and student council president.

"We want to make homecoming a more community-wide event," added Linzee Wright, a sophomore and student council representative

Each year, homecoming weekend has centered around the high school's varsity football game, homecoming dance and downtown parade. However, this year, organizers wanted to take a more expanded focus.

"We've wanted to do more to get people involved," said sophomore class advisor Beth Ann Lozier, "but the problem is we start school in the second week of September and then, within five weeks, we have homecoming. So, it's a lot of planning at once, but the kids have been great."

The schedule has been meticulously planned out, starting with the community bonfire to the right of the varsity football field Friday, Oct. 15, beginning at 8:15 p.m. The bonfire, which will be overseen by the Peru Volunteer Fire Department, will include entertainment by the high school band and cheerleaders. Admission will be free and snacks will be sold to benefit the high school student council.

"It'll be a great way to gather with friends the night before homecoming and have a great time," said Rock.

The following morning, Saturday, Oct. 16, the school spirit continues with the 5K run, said Wright. Registration will take place at the Peru Intermediate School cafeteria "bright and early" at 8 a.m., with the race to follow at 9 a.m. The run will follow the same route as the Peru Lions Club Turkey Trot, which starts at the intermediate school, travels north on Pleasant Street to Mannix Road and loops back to the school by Old Town Road and River Road.

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