Hometown homecoming parade

Every year, the Homecoming parade winds its way through our neighborhood as it heads toward the high school; this has become one of the highlights of the fall season for my urchins and me. I love this parade, which has not changed one bit since I marched in it escorting the senior class float in 1979 (Class of '80! GO, MIGHTY VIKINGS!!).

tangent: You may have noticed from an earlier post that my high school urchins go to a different high school; our county offers the opportunity to attend "specialty programs" at magnet schools, and my urchins go to a school that specializes in international studies and languages -- which is terrific for me because instead of kicking them out the door so they can ride a bus for a minute and a half (people, we can hear the neighborhood high school band practicing from our house), I get to haul their asses thirty minutes across town every morning. I'm not bitter.

The Mighty Viking Marching Band, the floats and the fire trucks all line up a block away from our house. Families gather on the curb, and kids bring their Halloween buckets and bags because e-v-e-r-y-o-n-e throws candy to the spectators!

I love seeing everyone respond as the American flag passes by at the beginning of the parade; the kids seem to be the first one to jump to their feet.

The cheerleaders ride on top of the fire trucks -- lucky!

All the local politicians show up for this parade -- their last chance for an informal, no-pressure, patriotic community event before the election next month. Woe unto the county supervisor or candidate for delegate who runs out of candy or stickers -- we voters have long memories!

The Army Jr. R.O.T.C. units do a great job singing jodies and marching to the cadence. The drill team always stops and performs about halfway through -- fabulous!

Here's the amazing marching band drum major, who does all this tricky marching/conducting/dancing -- and does it backwards! I offer this in place of what should have been a picture of the Homecoming court, but I saw my oldest girl's best friend marching with the crew team and she and I got excited and we were hugging each other, and then the homecoming court had passed us by along with the crew team, and she had to run to catch up.

It's that kind of parade.