The 9th grade dance has been a distinguished Marlborough tradition long before the more recent Upper School homecoming was created. While the theme was changed to carnival this year, rather than Casino Night, for most of the Class of 2026, this event was the most awaited night of the year. When the unexpected, intense thunderstorms on Feb. 24 sent Marlborough into a debate of whether to shut down the campus, the possibility of postponing the dance scheduled that Friday was also in question. While classes did continue, the carnival was canceled, as driving was not a safe choice for the many attendees that would be commuting to Marlborough. As the news trickled in, the Class of 2026 was disappointed to lose their dance when it was so close.
“It was a sudden speed bump,” 9th Grade President Madeline said. “In my mind I was like, it’s OK, they aren’t going to cancel school, so they won’t cancel the dance, there’s no way, but when we woke up and saw that the dance was canceled but we still had to go to school, it was really disheartening because we knew the class would be rightfully upset.”
The lowered spirits that came with the cancellation slowly faded, especially when the grade was told that the dance would be rescheduled. After spring break, on April 14, the same week as their class colors presentation, the 9th graders were given a second chance to host the carnival of their dreams in the gym. There were games, fair food and even a vintage photo booth, per specific request of the 9th Grade Class Council. As the first official Carnival Night, they had to blow everyone away with this theme. The change was made when the administration began to reevaluate the purpose of Casino Night.
“We were looking at our why. Why do we have Casino Night?” 9th Grade Dean Danielle Blette said. “We definitely wanted the 9th graders to have a dance because they don’t go to homecoming with the upper schoolers. But then we were also thinking, does the dance have to be casino-themed? It just didn’t sit quite right with us because casinos allude to more adult activities like gambling. A carnival theme is just more age-appropriate for 9th graders.”
This change of tradition was met with open arms by most of the 9th grade, especially when the replacement theme was executed in such an elaborate, entertaining way by the class council.
“After seeing photos from Casino Night last year, I was happy with the change to Carnival Night because there was good food, pretty decorations and lots of Nicki Minaj,” said Emily ‘26.
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