The parade began in front of the Clara Johnson Memorial Auditorium on 200 North Seventh St. before taking off towards Las Palmas Avenue. The 21-vehicle parade made its way towards Plaza Circle before circling back towards Seventh Street shortly after school at 12:15 p.m.
The parade, led by the PHS band, also featured Grand Marshall Rudy Aguilar, front and center in a Thompson convertible driven by Rosie Galvan. The two smiled brightly as they passed through the streets, wearing the customary crimson and gray school colors.
“I’ve been here since day one,” said Aguilar with a smile, as he conversed with PHS representatives Aaron Wheeland, Benji Lozano and Rob Cozart before the parade. “I love the school.”
Following Aguilar were the royalty court in order of class, ending with the senior and queen and king nominees.
Junior prince nominee Christopher Carlson said the recent activities have left many of the students fatigued.
“I’ve been really tired trying to stay up all night going to homecoming activities,” said Carlson as he sat in the bed of a truck with fellow nominees Armando Garcia and Andrew Arroyo. “But its fun, and I’m happy to be a part of it.”
Senior Queen Nominee Nayeli Guerrero was also ecstatic to become part of the court as well, despite being a little anxious to stand before an entire audience at the Patterson Community Stadium during the Tigers’ halftime ceremony.
“I’m so nervous,” said Guerrero. “This is the first time I’ve ever been nominated. I’m ready to for it to end. Homecoming in actually kind of stressful. But, I feel like I’d be happy with whoever wins.”
Sophomore Angel Barrera was also spotted amongst the hundreds of students packed near the senior parking lot beside the gymnasium. As a member of the Rally and Spirit Commission, Barrera helped lead the activities, and sat atop the Associated Student Body float with a dozen other classmates.
“It’s just really exciting because I’ve never been part of a homecoming event like this,” said Barrera just before the start of the parade. “There are a lot of activities going on. I’m happy we had a short day, but I’ll have to set up for the dance tonight,” he added, discussing the intricacies of the Homecoming dance, which will depict the 1920s flapper era. “It’s better than staying home and doing nothing.”
Cheers echoed through the streets from all sorts of after-school initiatives, such as the clapping football players atop the flatbed trucks, and the varsity volleyball team, led by coach Tarah High and assistant coach Harley-Trey Parson, who sat on top of High’s white and purple Ski Sanger. Sitting on the bow was Parson’s husky mix, Layla, which was painted with a pet-friendly animal spray to mimic a tiger’s coloring.
“She makes a cute tiger,” said Parson, while high school students took turns petting the delicately painted pooch.
Following the affair were the Girls Tennis, Cross Country and FFA floats before the grand event — the class floats.
The freshmen class adorned their float with a cardboard cutout of a green Volkswagen and large peace signs. On the back read a sign that said “Woodstock or Bust,” which represented an ode to the 1960s.
Representing the 1970s were the sophomore class, who hosted a plethora of icons, including Rocky Balboa, Darth Vader, a Tie Fighter, and a jive afro man who rollerbladed next to the float. At the top of the float was a United States podium, featuring a student who wore a mask of President Richard Nixon.
The juniors made a direct reference to the upcoming football game against the Central Valley Hawks that night, foreshadowing their defeat with a large ceremonial grave for the Hawks.
The senior float tailed the end, featuring a backlash of 1980s memorabilia, including students dressed as ghost busters (occasionally shooting candy from their vacuum), Elliot from E.T., Michael Jackson’s Thriller, a Pac Man game and the sensational Rubik’s cube.
Overall, the festivities had hundreds lined against the streets of the school, gleefully watching as the last school day descended on the 2013-14 fall homecoming celebration.
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