Masked, unmasked students come together to celebrate Fresno County History Day

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Students of all ages flocked to Fresno Pacific University on Saturday for the 39th annual Fresno County History Day, celebrating Fresno history and culture.

"Students are young historians. They've been doing research for months so they're here today to have interviews with the judges and present their projects," said History Day coordinator Melissa Aaron.

But not all students masked up.

On Friday night, California adopted a new indoor masking policy, moving masks from requirements to recommendations in schools.

That means Saturday was the first day, and one of the first school events, that both students and staff could ditch these masks while indoors.

"It was completely different and a whole lot better to be able to see the judges' faces while you perform and be able to tell if they're happy with the performance or not," said Sanger Academy Charter student Erika Gates.

Gates said she was eager to ditch the mask.

"I did not wear my mask. It was a lot easier cuz the judges could see my facial expressions and my acting," she said.

Many students and staff members still chose to mask up.

"I feel more comfortable knowing I'm protecting myself and others, even though I don't know what I've been exposed to. It keeps me safe and others safe as well," said judge Jessica Figueroa.

Mask or no mask, staff said they were committed to making sure all participants were comfortable.

Copyright © 2022 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.