As schools adapt and work around the latest changes happening in our corner of the world, the homecoming festivities will hopefully still happen – and that includes the homecoming parade.
Arcadia High School began holding classes in 1959, and back then, the Titans celebrated homecoming with vigor: there was royalty, a homecoming dance and school spirit week.
In those days, AHS classes would build floats and display them at the dance.
In 1970, the floats were moved outside and exhibited at that year’s football game during halftime.
That tradition continued until 2011, when several teachers decided to switch up the festivities and include a parade showing off their school spirit to the whole community.
Former PTO member Kris DeWulf is credited with founding the parade after she went to the homecoming football game and saw the floats “just sitting there.” She enlisted the help of a few other PTO members, teachers and student government members, and a parade took shape.
In previous years, kids from Hopi, Ingleside and Tavan have joined in on the fun.
Each year, the junior class comes up with the theme for the floats, and each grade builds their own. The theme is kept secret until homecoming week. Past years’ themes have included movies, Olympics, music festivals and countries around the world.
Student Government students Sage Morganstern, Henry Ord, Mackenzie Bream and Avery Amico are busy getting ready for the parade. All echo the same thought for this year: they’re happy to be together.
“I can’t wait to see everyone at the parade, especially after being apart for so long,” Sage said.
The students usually spend around a month coming up with a theme and building their class floats.
The homecoming royalty and Arcadia spiritline will join in the festivities, as well as the grand marshal, who will lead the parade. The first year, one teacher’s pet iguana was the GM; another year, the homecoming queen from 1965 joined in on the fun. This year, senior Liv Richardson will hold the title.
The parade and football game are on October 29, 2021, when the Titans will take on Tempe High School. The game was chosen as Game of the Week by AZPreps365. Covering all of Arizona’s high school sports, they will be filming this year’s athletics. Highlights and details for all of the games are posted on their website.
The parade starts at 4 p.m. on October 29. The floats will start their journey at Shemer Art Center (5005 E. Camelback Road), continue down Exeter, take a right on Rubicon and end at Hopi Elementary.