The origin story of the homecoming parade


Liana Jones

Homecoming Parade

Homecoming is a day everyone looks forward to, a time to have fun and enjoy life. During homecoming week, there was an annual homecoming parade where different extracurriculars designed their own float based on the theme they had chosen. During the pandemic, we weren’t able to be together as one, but now, we have the opportunity. As before, each extracurricular designed their float based on the theme they chose. The Girl’s Basketball team chose “Space Jam,” according to Coach Cardy, who is the head of the Girl’s Basketball team at Lanier High. He stated that “they have purchased some balloons” and “decorate[d] a whole truck with Space Jam”
Following up on Coach Cardy’s response, Karina Lopez, a member of the Girl’s Basketball team stated that, “All of our drawings were hand-drawn and painted right after practice, and others helped bring in balloons that day as well.” I asked how she felt about the parade, and her response showed her care and dedication to the school and her community:“I love giving back and being a part of my community,” Lopez said, “I felt very proud and happy to have participated. . .seeing all the love and the support that our school brings and has [shown] to the community. The smiles on so many people’s faces made it all worth it.” Although she loved working with her team and helping her community, there was one thing that she and her team wished for, and that was being “prepared ahead of time with decorations”
In addition to their responses, I asked Coach McDonald, who is the athletic director and assistant principal of Lanier High, what part he played in the homecoming parade, and he said, “the structure of it and also the promotion.” He began to share how the idea of the parade started at Lanier, stating that, “A couple years ago, we decided we really wanted to continue to build up on Lanier’s culture, and one thing that kids always had a great time doing is events around Homecoming. But we never really had, outside the pep rally, a significant event for Homecoming.” He gave me a backstory about how he grew up in South Georgia where they did parades, so he thought, “It would be a great opportunity to bring that to Lanier and really connect with our community.” Following the next question I asked, which was how did y’all prepare for it, he said “As far as preparing, the biggest thing is just planning. To know what clubs and sports want to participate [and] in what manner. A lot of them would walk. . .some wanted to use trailers…and vehicles.” Also, due to the impact of Covid, we weren’t able to do events like this, and you would have thought it had some effect on the preparation, but according to Coach McDonald, “it increased our participation because. . . right now a lot of our students are just so eager to do something fun. . . after shutting down for a year” Furthermore, he stated that he didn’t do much, except for the homecoming court. He also gave examples of the type of car companies that donated their vehicles for the parade, like Chevrolet and Jim Ellis. Equipment wasn’t needed, however, they did in fact “rent or outsource jumpy houses for [the] little kids and also brought in food trucks.”
The Girl’s Basketball team wasn’t the only extracurricular that participated. STUCO, also known as Student Council, participated by coming up with their theme, which was a haunted castle, and gathering all the equipment they needed, like “markers, paint, and letters,” according to Kori Joseph, a member of Student Council. “We had to construct [the castle walls] and put it on the actual float,” Joseph said, “We also had to look up the route to see how long it was going to be and to see if our decorations [would] hold up the entire time.” I asked Joseph what she would’ve done differently if she had the chance, she said “I think we should have planned [better] in advance. . .because we were kinda rushed to figure out the theme and then decorate. And [also] get the word out for STUCO more because there could have been more people there to help decorate and help plan. . .and not a lot of people for STUCO came, so I think we just need to get STUCO more involved.” As a result, the parade was a success and everybody had a blast. Hopefully, there will be a chance for Lanier to have more parades like this in the future.