Traditions, rivalries lead up to 80th annual Friendship Dance

Gretchen Skoglund
Contributing Writer

Students applaud 2017 Friendship Queen, Adele Pohl, after she receives her crown. Photo by Caroline Fellows.

This year’s Friendship Dance, on Nov. 3, will be the 80th annual dance between Webster and Kirkwood.  While the schools compete on the athletic field, the dance gives students from Webster and Kirkwood bonding opportunities.

Pat Voss, WGHS Alumni Director, describes the traditions between Kirkwood and Webster as “unique.”  

“There was antagonism between the two schools, and over the years I have seen that grow into two [friendly] communities,” Voss said.  

The dance has become an increasingly popular event for students to attend.  In recent years, the ticket sales have been capped at 1,000 tickets for each school, and both Kirkwood and Webster have come close to reaching that number.

Webster students are already beginning to look forward to November’s dance, which will take place at Kirkwood High School this year.  As the hosts, Kirkwood’s student council is in charge of planning and decorating for the event.

WGHS STUCO President Evelyn Trampe said, ““I think students are excited for Friendship because it’s an opportunity to get dressed up and have fun with classmates.  Plus it contributes to the whole Turkey Day lead up.”

Along with the Friendship Dance, community traditions in Webster include pep rallies, the annual Thanksgiving Chili Fest and the Turkey Day Game.

Although the rivalry is no longer hostile, the two schools are still competitive with one another.

Jerry Collins, Webster Groves athletic director, said, “I think in every one of our sports, [Kirkwood] is a game that we make sure is on our schedule… That’s a game everybody wants to win.”

The rivalry between Webster and Kirkwood provides residents with traditional forms of competition, and many community members believe that the Friendship Dance, along with the other Thanksgiving traditions, brings out the neighborly sentiments within the communities.


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