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Peddie Swimming’s Blair Day Traditions

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Peddie Swimming’s Blair Day Traditions

Blair Day Bonfire

Blair Day Bonfire

Andrew Marvin

Blair Day Bonfire

Andrew Marvin

Andrew Marvin

Blair Day Bonfire

Yulia Gu '21, Staff Writer

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The air was windy as hundreds of Peddie students raced to the bonfire under the light of lanterns, then chanted the Ala Viva. There was a brief moment of calm. Then suddenly, loud cheering erupted as Peddie Men’s Swimming appeared, wearing nothing but body paint and Speedos, waving the Peddie flag as they completed their annual bonfire run.

Each year after the Blair Week pep rally, the boys of the swim team run around the bonfire as a way to be involved with Blair Day.

“Peddie swimming is a pretty significant part of Peddie athletics; historically, we are a very successful team. We don’t compete during Blair day, so to participate, we run around the bonfire,” said varsity swimmer Isaac Kwon ’20.  

According to Head Varsity Swim Coach Greg Wriede ’95, the tradition of the boys running around the bonfire during Blair Week has been around “at least since the mid 80’s, definitely in the 90s.” Wriede says that he also participated in this tradition when he was a student at Peddie, 23 years ago. While he does not know how or why the tradition began, Wriede says, “it’s a way for the team to be engaged in Blair Day and to show support for all the sports at Peddie.”

Wriede said he “didn’t have a good answer” as to why the tradition is only done by the boys team, but that it most likely “was because of the culture back in the day.”

While the bonfire run is arguably an integral part of the spirit of Blair week, members of the girls’ team expressed reluctance to join in the tradition. “I would rather not freeze and run around a bonfire; I wouldn’t mind doing it, but I would rather stay in my clothes and be warm,” said varsity swimmer Gabriela Youngken ’19. This sentiment was also echoed by other members of the girls’ team.

In addition to the bonfire run, there are also a number of traditions practiced by the swim team during Blair Week. For example, every Halloween, both the girls and boys swim teams dress up in group costumes, a tradition for at least the last two decades. 

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