BRANFORD, Conn. (WTNH) – It’s the state of Catholic School Week, which is a national celebration of Catholic education. A Branford school is taking it to the next level.

Inside East Shoreline Catholic Academy in Branford, the school gymnasium has been transformed into the Willy Wonka Factory. The school used the classic story as a theme for a day of fun to celebrate Catholic School Week.

The magical display is put together every year by the school’s art teacher, Susan Muckle. Complete with candy hanging from the ceiling, a special movie viewing and plenty of activities. Muckle says the school took a break from the annual celebration during the pandemic.

“That’s a big part of why we wanted to get together and celebrate the children and the staff, they’re excited too,” Muckle said.

Muckle spent months preparing for the celebration, even handmaking over 200 candy bars with a golden ticket for the kids to unwrap beforehand.

“This is really fun when they open those golden tickets, it was like the screaming in the hallway and we had the candy man playing over the loudspeaker,” Muckle said. “They were all screaming. It made me kind of teary.”

The students acknowledged the hard work of their teacher.

“She’s a really good art teacher. She teaches all of us about artists and stuff,” said Brennan, a third grader.