Bigger and better: Short homecoming parade needs improvement


Alexis Fowler

Students on the senior class float wave to fans watching the 2019 homecoming parade.

I’m jealous of another school’s homecoming parade.

My freshman friend Mazie Fallati showed me photos of Walkersville’s homecoming parade. Picture this: Team after team of excited students throwing candy at large and enthusiastic crowds. Fallati was part of the fun. This was her first year as a freshman walking with the cheerleaders.

“I had so much fun walking in the parade. I was definitely nervous before we started but it went away as soon as we started walking. I was able to see all my friends and family,”said Fallati.

Our New Market homecoming parade, while fun, is nothing close to the spirited Walkersville event.

I have parade envy.

Homecoming is a sacred tradition at most American high schools. It’s a way for schools to celebrate alumni, football, fall and school spirit. A parade is often part of the week of events, and our parade is at least a 10-year tradition.

This year’s New Market homecoming parade included the LHS marching band, class floats,and some of the sports teams. In addition, the senior homecoming court rides together on the senior float, and prince and princesses ride in fancy sports cars driven by proud parents and friends. It’s good–just not that good.

The class of 23′ homecoming prince and princess rode in Jeff Maley’s red convertible  He has been volunteering to drive the freshman class homecoming court from when his daughter was in the parade years ago.

That’s the kind of school spirit that makes our Lancer hearts beat strong.

Yet despite the fun, many Linganore students have never been to the homecoming parade because it doesn’t involve them, and it’s held a week before homecoming on a Saturday morning. School spirit is not on their radars when they can choose to sleep in!

I didn’t know about it until the morning of the parade, but by then I didn’t really want to go. There was nothing interesting for me to see anyways. A lot of my friends are on sport teams, but when I texted them and asked if there were going they told me they weren’t in it

— Stella Krause

At some schools, including Walkersville, all sports teams and school clubs are required to participate in the parade. At Linganore only a few teams walk the short parade route.

Both parades feature the local volunteer fire departments. Unlike the New Market parade, Walkersville had four fire trucks handing out candy.

One improvement is that this year the football team participated for the first time since the school held the first homecoming parade. But there are so many more groups that could join the fun. The standard groups that walk in the parade include FFA, girls soccer, cheerleading, poms & dance, GSA, and alumni. Were still missing theater, boys soccer, cross country. I never thought about this until now, but even our own Lancer Media could walk!

“I would like to see more people attend, and more participants, but a lot of people have things on Saturdays,”said SGA Adviser and parade coordinator Jeremy Brown.

Why can’t we have the homecoming parade on the same night as the football game? Let’s add to the hype! People would already be going to the game and it would attract more people to show off school spirit. 

The parade would be over by the time the team needs to get ready. It could start at 5 p.m. before the game, and when it ends the gate would be open allowing students and parents into the stands while the team is getting ready.

I realize the already huge size of the football crowd could present a problem, and during football games we already have parking issues. It’s common to see people park on the side of road before the game starts. Having people parking for football and parking for a parade could be dangerous if an emergency happens. But I think we can solve these issues–or at least talk about them.

Part of the problem of our homecoming parade is the location. Downtown New Market is a small stretch of businesses–barely longer than the length of two football fields.

The Linganore school district is enormous, and there is not one nearby big neighborhood where many students live. We joke about Linganore being  “surrounded by cornfields,” but it is. In the distant past, the homecoming parade went around the track at the football stadium. That would be great today, but the quality of the pavement is now so upgraded that vehicles could damage the rubber.

Madeline Hull
The Homecoming parade from 1995 was showcased during the parade on the track.

“Even though they’re made from rubber and are durable, the surfaces won’t last forever. They will wear. The rubber tires on your car will wear, and if you don’t rotate them, you’ll wear them out faster.” said John Aten a vice president at surfacing manufacturer Regupol America in a Armory Track video.

Liberty High School in Eldersburg has a huge parade. The start and end point is the high school, which is already part of a big neighborhood. They have the safety of the small neighborhood roads as opposed to using a major thoroughfare like New Market Main Street.

East Wainscott Drive in New Market it is about six minutes away from the school and feeds into New Market Main Street. If we can’t hold the parade at school, maybe one day we could use that neighborhood as a part of the route.

“The students who came up with the idea of Linganore having a homecoming parade 25 years ago did it because of the community. They saw other schools having these extravagant parades and want to do the same,”said Brown.  There’s no question that a parade is important–how can we make it more important?

The Linganore community includes elementary and middle schools. Why can’t we expand the parade to include them?

New Market Elementary school principal, Jason Bowser agrees. “The elementary students would love to be a part of the parade. They always come back to school the following Monday after the Homecoming parade and tell their teachers about being able to see the high school students.” 

Don’t get me wrong. I love our homecoming parade. It’s one of my favorite times of the school year. I just want it to be somebody else’s favorite part of the year as well.