The Fever St. Pete has been coming down with since the 80’s.
Goldfever is one of St. Petersburg High School’s most popular, most competitive traditions. The school’s clubs compete in a lip sync and dance contest for the bragging right of being the Goldfever champions of the school year. Though the whole school looks forward to it, this competition is special to the school’s theatre department since it serves as a fundraiser for the the school’s Thespian troupe. Tickets and concessions sales provide money needed for State Festival registration fees for students and for the annual fall plays and spring musicals.
This tradition began in the early 80’s. The name was taken from the titles “Solid Gold” and “Dance Fever,” two television shows running at the time. Though Goldfever has been running for over 30 years now, it still retains the eccentric, totally tubular spirit of the 80’s. The performances are all about glitz and glamour. Competitors are scored in originality, creativity of their costumes, use of the show’s theme of the year, and the energy and enthusiasm of their performance. The groups, usually made of members of each service and interest club, take the competition very seriously. With long term rivalries and pride on the line; they all put forth exciting choreography, props, and costumes in order to wow the crowd and, more importantly, the judges. Though this competitive spirit can be quite a spectacle as the clubs shout their chants over one another before the show and perform wild stunts onstage to beat the competition, the show is truly about the school coming together for a night of performance. In the words of Trish Grunz, Theatre Department Director at St. Pete High, “It’s supposed to be a fun community get together for the kids and for the benefit of the theatre. It’s nice that some take it very seriously but the acts where they’re lighthearted and just enjoying being onstage are just as fun to watch. There’s room for everybody to be a part of it.”
In the school’s Goldfever of 2018, this spirit was exemplified by the President of the Leo service club and senior at St. Pete High, Chris Nguyen. When his group won the Fan Favorite award, he boldly requested the microphone to make a small, but meaningful speech. Nguyen congratulated each club and their student choreographers, disregarding the passionate rivalries of previous years. When asked about the meaning of his final Goldfever and his goal for that night, he responded, “It’s not about competition anymore. As long as everyone’s having fun, that’s what matters.”
Goldfever, though the competition may be intense, unifies the student body through music and dance. Not only does the student body partake in the event, but the community as well. Families, alumni, and teachers come to the school to watch (and, in the teachers’ case even make their own performances) the competition. Everyone, from both past and present, has a story to share about St. Petersburg’s lip sync fever.
A special thanks to Mr. Murray Mintz and Ms. Trish Grunz for providing information for this article.