A Joyful Return for Collegiate School’s 57th Village Green Fair

Organized by Collegiate School’s Parents’ Association, the annual Village Green Fair is a School fundraiser as well as an entertaining community-building event.
Sunlight’s spectrum flitted across the sight of tents, inflatables and games spread out across Collegiate’s Lower School grounds, serving as a warm welcome to the opening of the 57th annual Village Green Fair, the first in-person VGF in two years. 

The day began with an enthusiastic burst of green-and-gold energy on the Jim Hickey Track, where Lower and Middle School students participated in the Fun Run while family, faculty, staff and administration, dressed in Collegiate spirit wear, cheered from the sidelines. In the spirit that is VGF, prizes were awarded after the race and Lower School runners received a homework pass for their participation.  

For the rest of the day, attendees strolled the fair as they enjoyed fun challenges, the Shops on The Green, The Garden Shoppe, the Classy Cougar Market, sweet treats, a dodgeball tournament, a cake walk, a Lip Sync Battle and raffle prizes. 

Jamie Morris, a first year Collegiate parent with two students in the Lower School, stopped for a moment to take in the festivities. As his children roamed around in search of even more games to play, Morris spoke of how much fun the event was for his newest Cougars. 
“VGF is impressive,” he said. “The kids are having a great time, doing all the activities and winning candy. Someone that won the cake walk even gave their cake to us.”

Still beaming after her performance of the song “My Own Drum” at the Lip Sync Battle, 2nd Grader Anaya Samms surveyed the Lower School grounds, looking for where she wanted to go next. Her options seemed endless. 

“I think VGF is awesome,” she exclaimed. “I want to do the Lip Synch Battle every year. I’m going to go to the bounce house, do the cake walk and get tickets with my friends that came here to support me.” 

Organized by Collegiate School’s Parents’ Association, the annual Village Green Fair is the School’s largest PA fundraiser and serves as an entertaining community-building event. During the perennial profusion and warmth of spring, families come together on North Mooreland Road. 

“What a joyful community gathering across the generations with spirited competition and healthy fun,” said Head of School Penny Evins after experiencing her first in-person VGF. “It is Collegiate at its best. The older children are interacting with the younger children, and parents are having fun watching their children play. There are cartwheels, cheers and high-pitched squeals. It’s good clean fun and smiles all across campus.”
The cross-division interaction between students frequently occurs at VGF, where a number of Middle and Upper School students assume volunteer positions at one of the many games and activities. Teams of Lower and Middle School students participating in the dodgeball tournament were able to share laughs with Upper School students supervising the event. One Lower School student, coming from a face-painting station, showed his parents a bright yellow Cougar paw print painted by one of the Middle Schoolers. 

This year, the Parents’ Association invited incoming JK-6 Collegiate families joining for the 2022-23 school year to the community celebration. Each incoming family received one punch card ticket to enjoy the VGF amusements. 

“One piece that was important for us was to make sure that this VGF was a great experience for our new families and our new faculty and staff,” said VGF co-chair Lauren Hepper P ’27 ’30 ’30. “It was really important to us that we show them the fullest potential of what the Village Green Fair could be, and I don’t think we could have dialed up a better day or a better experience.” 

Village Green Fair — and the previous day’s Friday Frolic — takes hundreds of parent/faculty/staff volunteers as well as Middle and Upper School student volunteers to pull off. It’s a tremendous task, one that takes months of planning and organizing, but it is one that the Collegiate community enthusiastically embraces. 

“We just really wanted the community to have a fabulous day,” said VGF co-chair Happy Anderson ’95 P ’29 ’31 ’32. “And it’s a testimony to our entire community — from our faculty, our leadership, our parents and students, student volunteers and participants — that everybody came together to make it a wonderful experience. Everybody was ready to be together, so for us I think it was a success all around.” 

View the video here