Winning grid squad amps up annual Coronado Parade

       Since 1981, Coronado High's Homecoming Parade has romped through Old Colorado City, jump-starting activities for a game and dance later that day.

Holding fabricated "candy" for the Willy Wonka theme, Grady Pina (left), Carter Gerber, Mikaela Martinez and Jesse Brinkman of Coronado High student government prepare for the Oct. 5 Homecoming.
Westside Pioneer photo

       Parade spirit has invariably been high, featuring cheers, shouts and songs - even though the school's football program has typically not been strong.
       So Old Towners with sensitive ears may need ear plugs for Saturday morning, Oct 5, because this year the Coronado Cougar gridders are 5-0 (going into their preceding game Sept. 28).
       With the Coronado band in the lead and about 35 entrants behind it, the parade will start at 9 a.m. and proceed down Colorado Avenue - barricaded for the occasion - from 28th Street to Bancroft Park. A pep rally with the band will follow in the park.
       Coronado is the flagship high school for Westside public schools (plus Chipeta and Trailblazer elementaries in the Mountain Shadows area). According to Coronado Student President Carter Gerber, the parade will include representative groups from those schools as well as its Westside feeders (Holmes and West middle, each bringing a band; along with Bristol, Buena Vista, Howbert, Midland, Jackson and West elementaries).
       Other parade entries, most of them truck-pulled trailers with float decorations, will be chiefly provided by Coronado clubs and sports teams. Corvettes will carry Homecoming princes and princesses, as well as the Westside Recipient (this year it's Westside Pioneer editor Kenyon Jordan).
       Gerber and Vice President Jesse Brinkman said they believe having a winning football team should help the parade spirit - nor does it hurt to have a defending state championship boys cross-country team - but the key aspect is connecting with the Westside community. “That's the nice thing about the parade,” Gerber said. “The Westside is like its own little town. And we're the one high school everyone can root for.”
       One community connection will be the Old Colorado City Library, offering free ice cream after the parade (at 10:30).
       The parade theme this year will be Willy Wonka, so attendees can expect floats and marchers to present imaginative takes on chocolate candy. Note: Because of city regulations, candy can no longer be thrown from floats to the crowd, but some marchers will hand it out, Gerber said.
       To boost participants' creativity, Coronado's Student Cabinet has brought judging back to the event. An optional $10 fee is being requested for each float, with the winning entry to get $120, Gerber said.
       The game will be against Mitchell, starting at 1 p.m. at Gary Berry Stadium.
       A deejay-led dance will follow in the Coronado gym from 7 to 11 p.m. During the preceding week, Cougar students will work up excitement for Homecoming with such activities as powderpuff football and special clothing days.

Westside Pioneer article