The township high school’s highly-anticipated homecoming parade on Oct. 19 made its way through the entire town – from Wright Way to the school’s football stadium – and was headed by the award-winning marching band.
The parade featured 200 students from each grade level who walked together as a unit. The Class of 2023 crowned two students as homecoming royalty: Michael Papi and Olivia Jones. . As the newly selected members of homecoming court, they led the senior class’ decorated parade float.
This year’s homecoming theme was online streaming services. Seniors represented Disney Plus, juniors selected Netflix, sophomores picked ESPN Plus and freshmen chose Peacock. The students dressed up in costumes from TV shows and movies related to the theme.
“There is a float site for each grade, and parents help the students to decorate it. They work on them for eight days until 11 p.m. at night,” said physical ed teacher and homecoming coordinator Nicole Spera.
In addition to floats, students signed up to perform a skit on the football field.
“The grades put on an eight-minute skit for students, parents, families and the community.” Spera noted. “Students practice the skits throughout the week and come up with different ideas. It’s a great way to display the hard work they put in.”
This was Spera’s first year as homecoming coordinator; she’s been at the high school for 15 years.
“It’s a learning experience,” she said. “It’s amazing for the kids and they deserve credit.”
The homecoming parade is the culmination of a week’s events, with a different theme each day. Students earn points in their grade level for dressing up to match the theme, enabling them to add to overall scores. Extra points can also be earned for charity races, cash and can collections and soda tabs.
There was also a pep rally on the Friday of homecoming week where students made up class cheers and T-shirts to wear. Each grade also created a hallway banner that staff members were asked to judge throughout the week to give scores on most school spirit. The seniors were victorious in the entire week.
The homecoming parade is a tradition that has spanned for many years.
“This is a big event, and it’s an amazing experience,” Spera said. “The whole community lines the streets. Everyone enjoys it and looks forward to it each year.”