By Tyler Lambing
Sophomore Elizabeth Park sets the world on fire as a fire twirler for the Tussey Mountain Marching Band. Park got the idea to twirl fire when she was 3 years old and attended a Tussey Mountain football game where she saw Adriene (Walls) Montalto twirling fire. From that moment on, twirling fire became her dream.
When Park first started she went through all kinds of emotions. She states, “I was young when I started so I was nervous. I thought ‘what if I can’t do it or burn myself?’ but I was excited to finally be able to try this cool talent.”
Before actually twirling fire, Park has to prepare herself mentally and physically. She has to make sure her hair is up so it doesn’t catch on fire. She also has to change clothes quickly because she is also on the field as a cheerleader. Before Park twirls, she feels incredibly nervous and excited because it is her favorite thing to do. To actually set Park’s baton on fire, her dad places one end of it in kerosene overnight, then flips it and lets the other end soak. Park says, “The most challenging part of twirling fire would be trying not to burn yourself, or trying not to catch the end of the baton where it’s lit, especially when you are twirling in the dark, and [the flame] goes out so you can no longer see your baton.”
Park is very passionate and driven to do the best she can when twirling. Park actually doesn’t get that much practice twirling fire; she only practiced before the first game. Park loves being able to live her dream and twirl fire. She will continue to twirl fire for as long as she can.
“I would twirl fire over a regular baton any day. I just like how exciting it is and it looks a lot cooler,” says Park.