(HELENA) Helena fifth-graders got a chance to have fun and meet their new middle-school classmates at the annual Fifth Grade 50s Bash Friday night.

The dance has been a tradition in Helena for more than 25 years. This year, it was moved to a larger venue, the Capital High School gym. That meant all the fifth-graders in the Helena School District were able to attend – unlike previous years, when the number of tickets was limited.

Organizers say they sold about 400 tickets for this year’s dance.

The 50s Bash is a celebration of fifth-graders wrapping up their elementary school years and getting ready for middle school, where many of them will become classmates for the first time.

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“I like how every fifth-grader gets to get together before middle school,” said Grace Lenhardt, a student at Jim Darcy.

Until last year, the dance was organized by parents at Warren Elementary School. This year, a new board, including parents from around the district, took over the event.

Grace’s mother, Kendra Lenhardt, is the president of the board.

“There’s a lot of poodle skirts and a lot of leather jackets running around here, and everybody looks fabulous,” she said. “They’re having a great time. They’re stocked in that photo booth taking pictures like crazy and just having a ball.”

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