El Pueblo History Museum to showcase Pueblo’s historic high school rivalry
Pueblo, Colo. (August 16, 2017) – El Pueblo History Museum is proud to debut its newest exhibit, The Bell Rings: Pueblo's Historic High School Rivalry. The exhibit will showcase the Bell Game, the oldest high school rivalry west of the Mississippi River. Since 1892, the Central High School football team has faced off on the gridiron against the team from Centennial High School. The Bell was donated by Lou Rhoades in 1950 and for the past 67 years, the victors have claimed the right to ring the coveted bell in either Central’s blue or Centennial’s red.
Student teams from each high school met for months to plan the exhibit. “We have had a lot of support from the entire Centennial community, and we are extremely excited to finally be able to present the bell's story to the city that this great rivalry calls home,” said Jacob Lewis, chair of the Centennial High School committee. Each artifact, photo, and piece of memorabilia has been carefully curated by Centennial Bulldogs and Central Wildcats to show off their school spirit and the historic significance of their annual contest.
"The Bell Game is such an important reflection of our community and Pueblo's history. It speaks to neighborhoods, family legacies, tradition, and this community's passion for our youth. The Bell Game perfectly encapsulates how history can live and breath in our modern day and, best of all, be lots of fun,” said El Pueblo History Museum Director Dawn DiPrince.
Central High School committee member Peyton Roth remarked that, “By showcasing the story of one of the oldest high school football rivalries in the country, this exhibit helps to capture the tradition, diversity, and true-grit spirit that Pueblo, Colorado embodies.”
The Bell Rings: Pueblo’s Historic High School Rivalry will open on Friday, September 8, at 5 pm, the Friday before Bell Week, with a community pep rally. The exhibit will be housed in El Pueblo History Museum’s Community Gallery and will be free and open to the public until February 4, Superbowl Sunday. The exhibit is sponsored in part by a generous contribution from the Dominick and Christine Fratterelli Estate.