School board hears of tentative plans to return Homecoming parade

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The PHS Volunteer Day is just one of many activities conducted during Homecoming Week. A discussion of returning the Homecoming parade -- last held in 2007 -- was held at Monday's meeting of the Perry School Board.

The last Homecoming parade held in Perry was in 2007, but if Dave Wright has his way, all of that may change.

Wright spoke to Monday’s meeting of the Perry Community School District Board of Education at some length about tentative plans to revive the event in Perry.

A sub-committee of the Perry Chamber of Commerce, Wright said, has been studying what they can do to see the parade returned to the community.

A sizable gathering was on hand for a more than sizable bonfire at the PAC Thursday.
A sizable gathering was on hand for a more than sizable bonfire at the PAC Oct. 1. Perry is one of very few schools to still hold a Homecoming bonfire.

The parade would be sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce and insured by them, Wright said. Similar to the Fourth of July parade, the Chamber would invite people to participate.

He stressed the parade would not interfere with any activities at the school.

Dave Wright
Dave Wright

“We want this to be in addition to all the great things the school is already doing,” Wright said. “We would like involve all the schools, the band and the business community in this. The goal is to increase the promote interaction between businesses and the school.”

“We have thought about having the parade on Thursday at 6 p.m., so people who work out of town could see it or be involved,” he added. “The idea is that the parade would start downtown and end here at the high school, and then the usual Thursday activities could start once everyone is out here.”

Any return of the parade is still, Wright said, “very much in the fact-finding phase” and that the sub-committee is “trying to determine whether or not to keep going.”

“I would say we probably have 20 out of 100 businesses who want to go forward with this,” Wright said. “Many of the others are just waiting to see what a final possible plan would look like.”

Wright said he had approached the high school two years ago about a return of the parade and was told that declining student participation was one of the reasons the parade was removed from the week-long celebration of Homecoming.

PHS principal Dan Marburger said he “was suprised to hear a sub-committee is meeting.”

“I have spoken with (Chamber President) Bob Wilson about this and he has told me flat-out, several times, that there is no interest among the Chamber to do this,” he added. “I have spoken with the students about this and they get all fired up and then it doesn’t happen. I do not want to go back to them for a third year, get them all excited, and then tell them one more time it is not going to happen.”

The Perry High School 2015 Homecoming Court, including queen Desiree Hartz (fourth from left) and king Kade VanKirk (second from right). Any plans to return a Homecoming parade to Perry would be designed so as not to interfere with any of the many activities currently held.
The Perry High School 2015 Homecoming Court, from left, Ryan Rathje and Brooke Garner, Eli Saemisch and Desiree Hartz, Tanner Darr and Victoria Hegstrom, Ivan Garcia and Mariah Duffy and Kade VanKirk and Emma King. VanKirk was crowned King and Hartz Queen. Any plans to return a Homecoming parade to Perry would be designed so as not to interfere with any of the many activities currently held.

Discussion was held regarding what had become a steady decline in the building of traditional floats, whether students were interested in the parade primarily as an excuse to be out of class and several other areas. No action was taken by the board, which thanked Wright for coming forward to share his ideas and information.

Wright said he would continue to research all possibilities regarding a return of the parade.

ThePerryNews.com conducted a survey of 16 area schools last fall, asking for a listing of all Homecoming-related activities they participate in, and learned that 15 of the 16 schools do have a parade.

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