A dancer tosses candy to the kids cheering them on in the growing crowd. The flags of the JROTC members flutter in the wind as they march past the street signs. In lengthy trailers, the football players smile and wave at the spectators nearby. These are just some of the few parts of the annual homecoming parade that took place on September 22nd.
“We organized our members to be to able to come together to make our banner [a tradition], so we don’t really make a float because we’re an environmental club so we’re walking,” science teacher Jennifer Cherry, who sponsors the environmental club, said. “Our motto this year is ‘making waves of change’ and all of us put our handprint on the banner because all of us had a hand in helping and supporting the environment.”
The sound of the audience chanting and shouting while the JROTC students stomped their boots to the rhythm of the music were one of the moments that contributed to the energy the parade had, especially considering the hard work raider team members put in after their hectic schedule for the day.
“That morning [homecoming parade morning], Raider team has a competition in Orlando, so we have to get up early to go there and we do a lot of running and weights and stuff,” sophomore Amarise Rodriguez, a second lieutenant in JROTC, said. “Then we gotta be back here [at school] before the parade and clean our uniform to march in the parade that evening.”
Not only can community members make memories with their families and friends at the parade, but the students have fun dancing and connecting with the people there.
“We just come here, we have fun and we just dance,” freshman Michael Zion, who walked in the parade with Latin Dance Club, said. “We like to support our school, University High School, and that’s really it. We just wanted to have fun.”