By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Final Night Of High School Fun For Graduates
Recent EHS graduate Pablo Macias, foreground, works diligently to apply glitter to his Cougar Paw painting offered as a special Paint Nite activity for the Sober Grad event, with classmates Sebastian Snow, EJ Lewis and Jacob Dugo still working on their artwork. Marg Jackson/The Times

The Sober Grad party hosted at Escalon High School included not only the EHS seniors but this year was also opened up to those seniors graduating from Gateway Charter Academy and Vista High.

Organizers reported checking in 106 students for the all-night event, with doors opening at 9:30 p.m. and the last arrivals coming in around 11 p.m., when the doors were closed. Students then couldn’t leave until the event was over, unless they were picked up by a parent.

Once inside, students had the opportunity to put in their tickets for the grand prize, a number of other prizes, pull some money from the ‘mystery prize’ box and enter a free drawing for a new pair of Western-style boots.

Then it was inside the cafeteria at the EHS campus, where a cartoonist was featured, casino table games were offered, students could get Henna tattoos, take part in a Paint Nite to create their own individual Cougar Paw painting or enjoy the 360-photo booth, among other activities.

“I didn’t know what to expect, to be honest,” said graduate Raegan Goff, stopping by the Henna tattoo booth to get her temporary art applied by volunteer Sonya Huff. “There’s a lot to do, it’s fun.”

Outside, in between the cafeteria and the new gym, there was food and drinks available, from spring rolls to pizza, donuts to cookies, water, soda, hot chocolate and coffee, along with freshly made tacos prepared by Renee Snow of Tacos de Nieve.

There was also music for dancing, tables for dining and, on the tennis courts, a huge inflatable obstacle course, laser tag and a cornhole tournament.

Friends Grace Ferreira, Pietro Orlando, Preston Ball and Joslyn Mangnuson were visiting and eating at one of the tables, agreeing that spending their graduation night together with their friends, having fun, was a memorable way to close out their senior year.

All activities closed down shortly after 1 a.m. to get students inside the gym for the hypnotist show, which proved to be a crowd favorite as many hypnotized seniors performed for their peers. They were put through the paces by hypnotist Bill Anapoell and did such activities as portraying themselves sunbathing, eating a melting ice cream cone, playing a musical instrument at an audition and more.

Following the show, tickets were drawn for the wide variety of prizes collected for the event.

Students taking part in the hypnotist’s show during the 2022 Sober Grad festivities do “their best ballet” at the direction of hypnotist Bill Anapoell, at right, back to the camera. It was just one in a series of suggestions given to students, who also ate ice cream, sang Happy Birthday in a foreign language, played instruments, and more. Marg Jackson/The Times
Striking a pose, CHP Officer Ruben Jones gets photobombed by a trio of EHS graduates, from left, Soleil Gouzenne, Taylor Cullum and JP Lial. All three became friends with Jones when they worked with him during the presentation of the Every 15 Minutes program at EHS this past spring. Marg Jackson/The Times
Many with their phones out recording the moment, others just laughing and some in disbelief, the reactions were varied as the audience watched the antics of fellow seniors during the hypnotist’s show at Sober Grad Night. The show was the final event before the awarding of prizes for attendees. Marg Jackson/The Times