The Flames Begin

An attendee of the Parker Library’s Catching Fire celebration shoots at President Snow’s picture.
An attendee of the Parker Library’s Catching Fire celebration shoots at President Snow’s picture.

By Caylin Spilman

Everyone was looking forward to the first showing of “Catching Fire,” and some of the fans were banding together to celebrate the start of the second installment in the Hunger Games series. One of these celebrations was Nov. 16 at the Parker Library, where 40 teens gathered together to run obstacle courses, play trivia games, and look for hidden clues all around the library. To top it all off, there was a costume contest with fun prizes to win, like a Catching Fire messenger bag or a Mockingjay bracelet.

Though many of the fans couldn’t quite make it to the midnight showing, they were still planning on going as soon as they could. Clason Piers said, “I can’t go to the midnight showing, but I will go to the one the day of.”

Most of the fans all have one or two special parts that they really think the movie needs in order to be perfect. Nikki Vivek, a freshman here at Legend, said that, “I really hope they don’t mess up Finnick’s role, and I’m also looking forward to seeing the clock arena.”

Summer Edwards added onto this by saying, “Katniss’s dresses were pretty cool, so I hope they include that. I liked the one that burned up and turned into the Mockingjay wings.”

The library’s costume contest was wild and weird, especially with the Capitol’s odd taste for clothing. Maya Nettath, who was dressed as Effie Trinket, liked how “the people in the Capitol are really fashionable and extravagant.”  Everyone had a favorite thing about the character they were dressed as. Ali Wilcheck , who dressed as Katniss Everdeen, said that Katniss is her favorite because she’s “independant and strong, and doesn’t follow the rules.”

The part everyone enjoyed the most was the games. Contestants from each “district,” had to race each other through an obstacle course, do trivia, and hunt for hidden clues in order to accumulate points for their team. First, one person from each team had to hunt for hidden objects, the location of which was relayed to them through a cryptic rhyme. Once they found all the objects, they had to choose which ones they would keep to help them survive in the mountains in the middle of January. The ones with the most right, and the ones who collected the objects the fastest, earned points to help them win prizes.

After that, teams filed into a room to play trivia games. Each correct answer added to the ever growing pile of points each team accumulated.

Lastly, teams lined up to run an obstacle course. Two people from each team lined up, and the first person went, then hit the hand of the other contestant, who took off to complete the course. Contestants had to run through the dark, with fog machines pumping at full tilt. They bolted through tires, jumped from hula hoop to hula hoop, went through a string course without touching any of the them(for added difficulty, there were bells attached to the strings), ran through a hopscotch, then put an egg on a spoon and walked through rows of books. Then, they ran up the ramp, staying on a thin, duct tape line, shot a nerf gun at President Snow, and had to find their hidden flag in a pool filled with packaging bubbles. Only after all of that could the tired contestant  run up and tag their partner so they could go through the same course.

At the end of all of this, the points were tallied, and the winning team got to collect their prize. Everyone was happy with their loot, and many kids began to race through the obstacle course again before it was torn down in preparation for the next day at the library. Around 8 p.m. the attendees disbanded, and everyone went home, happy and excited. “Catching Fire” was so close that they could almost feel the heat.

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