Madison Elementary School Adopts a Lion

by Christina Butcher for OLY ARTS

Although this year’s Procession of the Species has come and gone, the festivities continue to have a resounding impact on at Madison Elementary School. Earlier this spring, the student body adopted an iconic procession-art piece and joined the parade for the first time. “Participating in the procession was a bit of a whirlwind,” said Nathan Allan, a member of the Madison Elementary School Parent Teacher Organization. “It was definitely a learning experience.” Allan and other PTO members played a key role in helping the school adopt one of Olympia’s best-known, procession-art pieces: the “Madison” lion.

While the lion has been a part of the procession for 19 years, it somehow went unnamed until the elementary school adopted it this year. Hoping to get students to get excited about the event, school officials held a naming contest to officially welcome in the lion. It came as no surprise when most students affectionately voted to name the art piece “Madison” after the school’s mascot, the “Madison Lion Cub.”

In the months leading up to the procession, Madison PTO members and families worked on the lion at the procession studios in downtown Olympia. They also created a school flag, prayer flags and special art pieces. “We held art classes at the school, too, where we did art in every classroom, creating lion masks and headdresses,” explained Allan. On the day of the procession, over 50 Madison Elementary representatives participated in the march, while others combined forces with Exile Tattoo to display students’ drawings in the storefront windows and hold a bake sale. “It was really great to bring together the school and the community,” Allan concluded. Student artwork created for the procession will be on display at the school for the remainder of the year.

What: Madison Elementary School

When:  last day of school is Friday, June 23

Where: 1225 Legion Way SE, Olympia

How much: free

Learn more: 360-596-6300 | Madison Elementary School

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