Penn Park had a little more activity than usual Saturday afternoon as York City School District and Parent Advocates for Children hosted their 10th annual Education First Parade and Rally.

The event kicked off at 1 p.m. with students and community members marching from Small Field to Penn Park, where the community could enjoy student performances, food trucks, face painting and more.

The fun: Families, students and members of the community filled the park to experience the fun-filled afternoon. After the parade, students came out to the basketball court to perform. The performances ranged from singing songs in large groups to dancing in small groups.

Goode K-8's performance of "Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)" featured a little extra help from a friendly bird. Matt Feltenberger, a teacher at the school, stood next to the students wearing an owl suit as they did their performance.

Feltenberger didn't know he was going to wear the outfit until Friday night, when the principal asked him to do it. It was an offer he couldn't refuse.

"This is great," he said. "I hope to do this every year."

Feltenberger has been a teacher at Goode K-8 for two years, but this year was his first year attending the rally.

"It's fantastic, I didn't know that it was as large as it is," he said.

Dana Shifflet of York City had a busy day. Her son Trey, a senior at William Penn High School, participated in a basketball game before the rally that featured the current basketball team playing against alumni.

Her second-grade daughter Tia also participated in the parade, drumming alongside students from Devers K-8 school. Dana Shifflet also helped with the United Way booth at the rally.

Despite how busy she was, she still enjoyed the event.

"I think there needs to be more stuff like this," Shifflet said.

Community:  Superintendent Eric Holmes was happy with the turnout for the event, which he estimated was about on par with previous years.

"It's a great way for the York community to come together," he said.

He said the day was not just to focus on one group of people involved with education, but all education.

Rep. Kevin Schreiber, D-York City, was there enjoying the day, watching the performers among the crowd that had formed near the basketball courts.

"It's an absolute blast," he said. "This is one of the best events of the year."

Schreiber also said it was a great day for the community, noting that a lot of alumni from the district came to celebrate.

"I think at the end of the day, what we can do is support our young," he said.

— Reach Christopher Dornblaser at

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