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The Student News Site of Altoona Area High School

Mountain Echo

The Student News Site of Altoona Area High School

Mountain Echo

Sailing through Pittsburgh

Students attend Gateway trip
Lila Benjamin
The Gateway clipper sails under the Fort Pitt Bridge while students watch the city on the top deck.

On April 24, French students and students from Hollidaysburg traveled to Pittsburgh to attend the Gateway Clipper, a riverboat dining cruise. Offering rides since 1958, Gateway allows students from surrounding schools to embark on a night of French culture. Beginning with food and a soda bar, each school had a table in the indoor section of the boat and the ability to go to the top deck and watch the city as it rolled by.

“This was my last time on Gateway, so I had to go all out. The food was amazing like always, and the dessert was great,” senior Mackenzie Musser said.

Musser was fond of the potatoes au gratin or cheesy potatoes. 

“They make us French dishes every year. The best part of the trip is the dancing, but the food is good too,” Musser said. 

While many students had attended Gateway before, this was the first time freshman Ruth Cron went.

“Gateway turned out well. It was really fun,” Cron said. “My favorite part of the night was dancing and going under the Roberto Clemente bridge.” 

The trip was opened to French I students, something teacher Veronica Skomra doesn’t often do. Cron was grateful to have the chance to attend. 

“I’m definitely going next year and anyone joining [French] should,” Cron said. 

After opening the event with food, members on board hosted a trivia game called “jeu d’élimination,” or the elimination game in English. It went as follows: one person from each school was selected to write down the answers to French-style trivia questions with a whiteboard and marker. Getting a question wrong led to elimination. Senior Camryn MacAlarey was chosen to go up. 

“I went on the France trip last year, so I like to think that I know a good bit about French culture,” MacAlarney said. 

MacAlarney may have lost, but she still enjoyed the game. 

“I liked going up since this is my final big trip for this class,” MacAlarney said. 

Students ended the night with a quiet bus ride back home. 

“We were all really tired on the way back, and most people slept. The ride home made me think about how much I enjoyed Gateway each year and how I’m going to look back on it after I graduate,” Musser said.

Gateway is held every year in the spring during the boat’s “French Night”. Students taking the language are eligible to go. 

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