A sea of green and gold will amass in downtown Sonora Friday afternoon as the annual Sonora High School homecoming parade marches through town before a football game against Linden that evening.
The cavalcade of school pride will feature the school’s Wildcat mascots, class homecoming floats, the Golden Regiment band, homecoming court, the varsity and junior varsity football teams and cheerleaders, and the team sponsors.
“I think it just brings the students together. All different groups come together and work on the floats, and it's kind of a team building, whether they realize it or not, and it brings unity to the school,” said Associated Student Body (ASB) Bookkeeper Nancie Weiser.
The parade, which begins at 2:20 p.m. on Friday, will start at School Street next to the high school, turn onto Snell street, travel southbound to South Washington Street, make a right turn on Stockton Road, and then take another quick right up Green Street to Courthouse Park, after which the students will return to campus, said Sgt. Chris Rodgers at the Sonora Police Department.
Green Street between Bradford Street and Yaney Street will be closed while the Golden Regiment Band, which is celebrating its 35th anniversary, performs at Courthouse Park, he said.
The parade route closed to all traffic beginning at 2:15 p.m., but once the students pass through the area, the streets behind them will open up, Rodgers said. The parade is expected to last until about 3 p.m.
Rodgers added that officers will be located in positions along the parade route and will have traffic markers to indicate the closures.
Weiser said though this week is the official homecoming week, ASB representatives and students throughout all grade levels have spent the past couple of weeks decorating store windows with varsity paws featuring players’ names and other window.
Events such as games, dancing and other activities to “get them involved and excited,” have been set up throughout the school campus, she said.
This week, the students from each grade level have been preparing their floats under this year’s theme of fairy tales. On Tuesday evening, the students will also participate in the night rally Air Band to vie with each other for spirit points. Representatives from each class will perform a choreographed dance, with music and costumes to fit the homecoming theme, Weiser said.
A “Most Inspirational Teacher” or staff member will also be announced at the event, she said, and will be featured in the parade.
At a Homecoming Rally prior to the start of the parade on Friday, freshman princess Jacey Hawkins, sophomore princess Brenna Canepa and junior princess Jerine Hoffman will be introduced to the school, she added.
The senior court seeking to become homecoming queen, Sarah Rosasco, Tori French, Riley Patterson, Jessie Skutches, Suzanna Ellis, will also be introduced, she said.
At halftime of Friday’s game against Linden, at home at 7 p.m., the queen will be crowned and escorted by her date and father or guardian.
The homecoming season is “never really that much different,” Weiser said, unless there is an emotional connection of some kind commanding the students’ focus.
“This year is what I would consider a typical homecoming. The kids are excited and there is a lot of activities for them to do and it removes them from the classroom for some degree,” she said. “It just brings a little bit more fun for the week instead of just having a scholastic week.”