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A wide-angle shot gives a perspective on the succession of entrants in the Sept. 19 Coronado High School Homecoming Parade, as well as the spectators along Colorado Avenue.

Fun except for the funding - 35th annual Coronado Homecoming Parade through Old Colorado City

Several members of the brass section of the Coronado High School band play their parts as the group passes through the 2800 block of West Colorado Avenue during the early part of the parade.
       With costs more than doubled for the annual Homecoming Parade - the latest of which was presented under sunny skies Sept. 19 in Old Colorado City - Coronado High School plans to seek support from businesses there to help keep the event going.
       “They've been very gracious to us the last 35 years,” said Coronado Principal Darin Smith, in explaining a hope that going forward, the parade will be seen as an attraction of mutual interest to both the school and the Old Town shopping district.
       If the businesses are willing to help defray the parade costs through advertising, “We'll promote them as much as possible,” Smith said. “We're trying to create an environment to help the parade support itself.”
       This year's 35th annual parade took a step in that philosophical direction. By starting an hour later (10 a.m.) than in past years, it occurred after most of the stores had opened. Advance promotion encouraged school and community people to mingle in Bancroft Park afterward and to shop nearby. Smith reiterated that pitch in his post-parade comments in the park.
       With a total of 38 entries from Coronado sports, clubs and programs as well as its feeder schools, the Sept. 19 parade lasted about a half-hour along closed-off Colorado Avenue between 30th Street and Bancroft Park. It was preceded by a fundraising pancake breakfast, cooked up by school supporters, in the park pavilion.
       For the parade, several hundred people, most of them in the 2400 and 2500 blocks, lined the roadway while scores of students, staff and parents passed by on foot and in self-decorated floats, often cheering, singing and waving to the crowd.
       Adding to the festivities, the Old Colorado City Library (for the fourth straight year) timed its Carnegie Day celebration, including free ice cream, for the end of the parade. The library is across the street from the park.
       Regarding the parade costs, the approximate annual expense over the past five years has been $3,000. That price itself was a major uptick - prompted by city liability concerns - from the $1,000 or so before that. And Smith, a Coronado graduate in 1990, remembers when the parade cost practically nothing.
       Now, with the loss of a major volunteer contributor, the annual expense has risen to about $7,000, Smith said.
       The contributor was Johnson Plumbing & Heating, owned by Coronado alumnus Rick Johnson, whose employees had for more than 30 years set out (and afterward removed) no-parking signs and barricades for the parade at no cost to the school. “He's been great and put in a lot of work,” Smith said, but explained that it was no longer possible for Johnson to do that.
       As a result, the school is having to contract the work to a professional company.
       One idea for helping pay for next year's parade is a "fun run" up and down the closed-off avenue, Smith said. Such a race (or races) was popular for runners each year before the St. Patrick's Day Parade when it was in Old Colorado City (before relocating to the downtown after 2006).
       Previous Coronado parades had started at 9 a.m. to allow preparation for the ensuing homecoming game later in the day, usually at 1 p.m. But this year, in a format the school wants to continue, the game was the night before, taking away the time crunch. As for people's responses to the change, Smith said he had “heard a lot of positives, but some people liked the old tradition.” His own opinion is that the change is better for the football team, which used to feel a little rushed - and possibly less competitive - under the previous format.
A contingent of students, staff and parents from Howbert Elementary, shown in the 2500 block, enjoy their part in the parade.
With many in costume, some of them in keeping with the "Under the Sea" theme (note the swim masks, pirate hats and... a unicycle?), students from Coronado's theater program dance their way down the 2600 block.
Sept. 16: LEFT: Enthusiasm is evident in the Coronado girls softball parade entry. RIGHT: Frosh Homecoming princess Faith Roth rides up high with prince Weston Rubio. Other princes/princesses follow in cars, along with King and Queen Zach Gerber and Faith Shea. The vehicles were donated for the event by the local Corvette Club.
The Coronado High cheerleaders, accompanied by spirited apprentices, march through the 2800 block.
Sept. 16... LEFT: This year's Homecoming Parade Westside Recipient was Mark Buchanan, who taught history at Coronado for 37 years (retiring after 2012). In retirement, he works with student teachers at UCCS and competes in the area Highland Games. RIGHT: Students hand out candy during the parade, to the delight of young onlookers.
Coronado's hockey team members use balls instead of pucks to show off their playmaking skills for parade-goers in the 2400 block.
Sept. 16... LEFT: Holmes Middle School Principal Rob Utter drives his convertible with eighth-grade students Valerie Griesan (left) and Indie Ross. RIGHT: The Midland Elementary float looks like it could be "Under the Sea" (the parade theme).
The West Middle School Band, led by instructor David Foster, provides a musical touch to the Coronado Homecoming Parade. The location is the 2600 block.
Two floats decorated in the "Under the Sea" theme... LEFT: The West Campus float. RIGHT: The entry from the Coronado French Club.
Several Colorado football players saunter through the 2400 block. In recent years, the players had ridden in buses so their strength wouldn't be sapped for the game after the parade, but this year the varsity had played the night before.
Sept. 16... LEFT: Coronado students as well as local residents enjoy free ice cream offered by the Old Colorado City Library to celebrate Andrew Carnegie Day. The set-up on the sidewalk in front of the library included books people could peruse. RIGHT: After the parade, students in front of the Bancroft Park stage (led by the school band) attempt to set an obscure record for most participants in a dance called the Cuban Shuffle.

Westside Pioneer article and photos
(Posted 9/20/15; Schools: Coronado High School)

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