Out with the old, in with the homecoming parade

TURNERS FALLS — Turners Falls High School has established a new candidate for tradition after the long-standing Booster Day parade fell through this year.

Student Council Adviser Sandra Bailey said the booster parade has been a school tradition since the 1970s, but did not happen this September due to a lack of student interest in building the usual parade floats and the coincidental timing of the Eastern Equine Encephalitis threat in the region.

“It was time for a change,” Bailey said.

Still under the direction of the Student Council, the new parade has a broader focus — and no floats.

“We’re going to try to make this the new tradition,” Bailey said. “It’s a homecoming parade and festival for the students past and present.”

Bailey said where the booster parade was aimed at bolstering high school sports, the homecoming parade is intended to celebrate the district as a whole.

“We thought we would try to do something a little bit different and do a little change in things just to bolster some spirit and get the word out about what we have to offer in the district itself and not just at the high school,” Bailey said.

Bailey hopes to bring together alumni and as many of the district’s various student support and booster groups as possible.

“We wanted to have, all in one place , music boosters, sports boosters, just so everyone gets to see each other outside of little group meetings here and there,” Bailey said.

“Booster Day has been going on since the ’70s, but if you’ve got no one showing up and no floats, it’s hard to have a parade.”

This parade will not have floats; they were cut from the lineup as the major sticking point to the success of the booster parade, according to Bailey.

“At this point we just don’t have enough people to go around to keep the float part going,” Bailey said. “I don’t know if it’s just that times have changed and it’s not something that’s interesting to the students at this time ... whereas back in the ’70s it was a much better fit. I just don’t know.”

Sam Danford, a junior on the student council, told the Gill-Montague Regional School Committee in October the student body had voted to pass over Booster Day to possibly establish a homecoming celebration in its place, citing busy student schedules.

The homecoming parade is scheduled to commence at the Sheffield building of the Montague Elementary School on Crocker Ave. at 1 p.m. and continue down Montague Street to the Turners Falls High School on Turnpike Road.

Parking will be at the high school, with a shuttle ferrying participants to the starting point beginning at 12:15 p.m.

The parade will conclude with a festival in the high school sponsored by the Student Council, with tables for student fundraisers and community groups in the cafeteria.

Anyone wishing to participate in the parade or festival should call Bailey in the High School main office at 863-7296.

You can reach Chris Curtis at:
or 413-772-0261, ext. 257

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