Seniors light up for Eve of the E


Daniel Ornelas

The E design lights displayed over the football field at R.R. Jones Stadium for the senior’s Eve of the E celebration on Sept. 28, 2022.

Isabel Gaytan, Fernanda Pineda, and James Locke

From lighting a fire at the bottom of the Franklin mountains to using LED lights on the school field, Eve of the E is a tradition that El Paso High school has had for approximately 80 years.

The tradition was started in the 1940s when seniors would light a fire using diesel filled cans at the bottom of the mountains and was later altered in 1977 when the event was relocated to the school’s field.

Luminaries later replaced the cans to avoid the danger of working with diesel.

“With us, they used to light up candles,” alumni and current bookroom clerk, Carina Rodriguez said.

The EPHS class of 2023 celebrated the traditional Eve of the E on Sept. 28 during homecoming week. (Tinja Untinen)

The tradition was changed again when the school decided to stop lighting the luminaries to prevent the danger of working with fire. Seniors must now consider outside forces such as wind, cost, and visibility.

“We’re going LED because a big problem of Eve of the E is that sometimes you can’t see the design because it’s not visible in the dark,” senior class president Allyson Stresow said.

Although the event continues to change, it will always be viewed as a unique event for seniors.

“It’s a beautiful experience to share with your class,” senior Jeyline Moreno said.

One thing that makes Eve of the E unique is the seniors’ part in its preparation. The seniors have complete control over candle design and the decoration of their shirts. The shirts are required for the seniors to be able to participate in the event itself.

“It’s a tradition that the shirts are always the same. They’ve been the same for the last 40 years that we’ve done Eve of the E,” Student Activities Manager, Lindie Serna said. “We have a decorating time. We allow the seniors to decorate them with glow-in-the-dark paints and stuff, but the actual design never changes.”

Choosing a candle design is done entirely by the senior student council board and the senior class. The board comes up with a design and the seniors vote on which one they prefer.

“We had a meeting in early August and the seniors helped me choose the design,” Allyson said.

The seniors look for a unique design that represents the school and student body. Their inspiration is commonly taken from past candle arrangements.

“We don’t want to copy. We want to be original. So we took a little bit of inspiration from previous years but in this year’s design we implemented a paw. Which we haven’t seen before,” Allyson said.

Senior Rui Camou soaks in the moment as he takes a usie on the football field with his family. (Raina Porras)

The event began with a performance from the school’s cheerleaders, Tigerettes dance team, and band.

“The band’s performance was very entertaining to me. It brought a feeling of appreciation for me to hear the rhythm of the drums,” Vanessa Meza, an audience member at the event said.

After the performances staff and distinguished alumni were introduced.

Allyson Stresow then went on to thank the school’s seniors and everyone that made the event possible. A brief history of the tradition was given and then the seniors made their way up to the top of the stadium for the main event to begin.

“I think it’s a tradition that we should keep running because it brings all of the seniors together no matter if they know each other or not,” senior Yasmine Pearl Contreras said.

The lights were turned off and the candle design with mixed LED lights and lumineers glowed against the dark field.

With the city skyline in the background the seniors went on to run laps around the field at their own pace, while their class song, “Walking on a dream,” was played in the background.

“It’s a really special moment when the lights go out and the lights come on on the field, and at that moment, it hits those seniors that this is it. This is their senior year,” Ms. Serna said.