Being part of a Waldorf school means becoming part of a community that celebrates the changing of the seasons through a rich festival life. Celebrating these festivals helps us to connect with the natural world and establish a yearly rhythm for our children. Through these festivals, the school cultivates community among children, teachers, parents, family members, and friends.
The Festival of Courage
Michaelmas is a major celebration in Waldorf Schools world-wide near the end of September when daylight grows shorter. The festival is named for the legend of archangel Michael, known as a protector of humanity, who inspires qualities of courage, initiative and steadfastness: all qualities we need as we begin a new school year.
At our Michaelmas Festival, students, teachers and parents work together on outdoor projects, such as weeding or fence mending, that help improve and beautify Prairie Hill’s school grounds. When the work is done, the community gathers for a performance of the St. Michael play, a wonderful reenactment of St. Michael taming a dragon. The play is followed by a pot-luck style picnic.
The Festival of Community / The Lantern Walk
The Yuletide Faire
At this annual festival, open to the greater community, visitors discover the special magic of the medieval past. The school gets transformed into a fantasy world, put together and run by parent volunteers, faculty and staff.
Entertainment abounds with live music and other acts including strolling minstrels and costumed characters such as the beloved Muffin Man, Pocket Lady, Pickle Man, and others. Children’s attractions rotate through the years and have included the Wee Tots Theater, Dragon Room, Children’s Bazaar, Excalibur, Face Painting, Roaming Pirates and many others.
Experience the very best of independent crafts presented in this vibrant and magical marketplace featuring more than 30 artisans. Other highlights include delicious food from the Winter Kitchen, decadent desserts from the Dessert Cafe and sweet treats from the Sweet Shoppe. This is a community favorite for all ages.
Festival of Light
Other Annual Events:
Prairie Hill Annual Auction
An evening of food, entertainment and of course spirited bidding in our live and silent auctions. This adult event is one of Prairie Hill’s major fundraisers, with funds raised going to support our Tuition Adjustment Program, school development funds, and classroom needs. Generous donations from local businesses help support our auction.
Bridging Ceremony: On the first day of school, the new first graders are led to their classroom by their former Kindergarden teacher. Our community gathers in the halls with branches forming an arch to signify the passage from Early Childhood to the grades. At the door to the classroom, the each child shakes their new teacher's hand before walking across a small bridge into the classroom to join their peers. This special ceremony is revisited at the 8th grade graduation ceremony, as the students walk out under branches held by their parents.
Santa Lucia: The students celebrate the life of Saint Lucia and bring light for the longest night of the year. At Prairie Hill, a second grade student, dressed in white as Santa Lucia and wearing a golden crown aglow with four candles, leads a procession of classmates. Each holds a lit candle as they sing “Santa Lucia” and pass out sweet saffron buns to their schoolmates.
Variety Show: Usually held in January, children, parents and grandparents alike sign up to make the audience smile. You’ll see it all, from poetry reading to singing and dancing, circus acts, instrument playing and maybe even a how to bake muffins demonstration.
Science Exploratorium: A hands-on, interactive science fair open to families, students and the public. Students in Grades 6 through 8 research a question of interest and then create a model and presentation in order to share their newly gained knowledge with others. This event usually occurs toward the end of February.
Spring Concert: This event showcases the incredible musical and vocal talents of our students and celebrates the culmination of their musical studies for the year.
Graduation: Graduation is an amazing way to gain a deeper and more full understanding of students’ experience at Prairie Hill. Students and teachers share their talents and reflections. Audience members are always awe-inspired by the display of confidence and emotion coming from Prairie Hill’s young graduates.