Music from the 1950s rocked through the Reynoldsburg Taylor Road Elementary School cafeteria as students sipped root beer floats, danced with hula hoops, had their faces painted or played a number of carnival games at their Nifty 50s Sock Hop and Spring Carnival.
Held March 10, the carnival's sock-hop theme was provided by Terri Levine, a self-proclaimed "Soda Shop Queen" who brought miniature jukeboxes and delicious ice cream treats and sandwiches, all served by uniformed soda jerks in white hats.
Levine took to the dance floor occasionally, too, throughout the evening, scooping up a hula hoop and setting it in motion to try to get students up and dancing.
Owner of the Sock Hop Soda Shop, a mobile diner that specializes in catering special events and bringing "the fabulous 50s" as a theme, Levine, a Columbus resident, said she loves watching the kids' faces.
"It's a lot of fun to be here with the kids," she said. "It also turns into an intergenerational thing because the parents and teachers have a lot of fun, too, especially with the 50s theme."
Levine calls her mobile diner the "SWAT" vehicle and said it is "packed with delicious Velvet Ice Cream and refreshing Frostop root beer."
Taylor Road third-grade teacher Heather Slisher said the carnival is a major fundraiser for the school.
"It brings our community and our school families together into one big community," she said.
She said the elementary school has had a spring carnival every year for the past five years, raising about $1,500 to $2,000 per year.
The sock- hop atmosphere added to the fun, Slisher said.
In the gymnasium, kids could fish for prizes, use a mini-bowling bowl to knock down pins or throw balls at targets.
Principal Jeremy Miller moved through the crowd, having fun with the kids during the carnival.
He sat at his desk at the end of the evening, however, counting tickets for students lined up at the door. He said kids could buy tickets for the games and then after playing, received tickets to redeem for prizes at the end of the evening.
"The carnival is a great chance for our kids and parents to come together and have some fun," he said. "It's a great event."