Beloved by the backcountry Greenwich community it serves, Parkway Elementary School is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year with a reunion for past students, teachers and staff as well as with its annual Fall Festival.
"I think people really have fond memories of the Fall Festival and it gives them something to do while they're there at the reunion," said Barbara Lovely, co-chair of the school's 50th anniversary committee.
"The people who come back want to see the kids in action and see how the school has changed," said Maryanne Farrell, co-chair of the committee. "We have people coming from every decade."
Farrell said they have been recruiting for the past six months through a Facebook group and fan page for the school created by James Cole, a former Parkway student who now lives in California. Members of the group posted class photos and IDs from as far back as the 1960s, many of which are on display in the school's lobby.
"One woman had her original ID card from the 1960s," said Farrell. "We had fun finding all those artifacts, yearbooks and photos ... my husband doesn't know this yet, but his report card is up there."
Lovely went to Parkway in the 1970s, and her three children, Caitlyn, Spencer and William, go to or attended the school. Farrell's husband and children Mary Grace, Megan and Katie all have attended Parkway.
The school opened in 1959 but closed due to declining enrollment in 1981. It reopened in 1990 when the Cos Cob school burned down. Despite the openings and closing, Farrell and Lovely said the school serves as a hub of activity for the backcountry community.
"Greenwich is so big and there are so many elementary schools ... as big as it is out here in Parkway everyone likes the intimacy of the school," said Farrell.
"You pretty much know everybody," agreed Lovely.
On Saturday, current and former students, teachers and staff will attend a 10 a.m. reunion at the school, located at 141 Lower Cross Road, before enjoying the Fall Festival from noon to 3 p.m. Features of the festival include a haunted house run by the fifth-grade class, games, crafts and a drawing for gift baskets made by each of the grades.
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