The Suffield Middle School parking lot Saturday was a combination of young dancers in sequins and soccer players in cleats heading to either a field or the stage.
The Suffield Performing Arts Center run by Donna Gavioli held its Eighth Annual Dance Showcase with tap, jazz, ballet and lyrical dances by more than 100 students, who practiced all year long for the event.
Dancers, including the award-winning competition dance teams, performed in two shows on Saturday.
Gavioli, as well as the many proud parents, applauded the students and the staff. Among the staff is her daughter, Lizzy, who teaches and choreographs with her.
"Thanks so much to everyone," she said at the end of the show. "I could not have done it without you."
Throughout the weekend, Suffield was barraged by soccer players from all over New England, with teams representing New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, New Jersey, New York and Massachusetts.
Dunkin Donuts was mobbed with thirsty soccer enthusiasts, and staff at Suffield Pizza said they were additionally busy. At one point, a party of 40 soccer participants came in for a bite.
According to Debbie Viets, Suffield Soccer Club Tournament Director, a total of 138 teams participated in the two-day event held at Suffield High School, Bruce Park, Sullivan Park and Suffield Middle School. Teams ranged in age from Under 9 to Under 17 girls and boys.
Here's a look at the Suffield Soccer Tournament by the numbers:
- 552 games being played
- 13 tournament fields being used - 4 different locations around town
- 2,200+ players, 300+ coaches and possibly 8,400 people attending the tournament
- 798 scheduled "volunteer" hours over the weekend by soccer parents.
- 20 high school teens volunteering towards SSC scholarship
- 14+ hours each day put in by SSC board member during the tournament
- 500+ hours put in by SSC board members for final event preparations this month
- 9+ local businesses donating time, money and food - please see list of sponsors on our web site
- 10 graduating seniors to received SSC scholarships –
The annual tournament is the SSC's main fundraiser, and all proceeds are used annually to fund the operation of the club. In addition to soccer games, the fields provided fun for all ages with bounce houses, balloon artists and concessions.