Coronado parade entertains OCC; principal pledges to keep event going
Hundreds of spectators, the bulk of them massed in the 2400 block, cheered and waved as thirty-some colorful entries from Coronado and its feeder schools - many featuring hand-decorated floats and/or costumed students in the theme of “Starry Nights” - boisterously made their way east down the avenue from 29th Street.
Also part of the show were marching bands from Coronado and West Middle School, plus the Holmes Jazz Band on the back of a truck. All wound up in Bancroft Park, where a pep rally followed.
Afterward, Principal Darin Smith praised the students for their efforts and pledged, “We will definitely keep this going.”
Smith was referring to the parade's cost issues, which have escalated in recent years in response to city requirements and reached a total this year of $8,000 for the roughly one-hour event. For a time in August, school leaders were considering moving the parade to the school itself - thus evading the city-related costs - but decided to keep the Old Colorado City tradition going for at least one more year while scouting for community support.
A particular focus has been put on Coronado alumni. Smith credited Shannon Rogers (Class of 1991) for reforming the school's Alumni Association, which had been less active in recent times. She set up an information table in the park pavilion during the parade and rally. People are asked to become association members, with dues of $20 per household a year.
For more information, phone 332-2850, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or go to the association website, https://coronadoalumni.org.
Also helping with fundraising Sept. 24 in the park pavilion were sales of breakfast burritos. Starting an hour before the parade, a variety of pre-made, heated burritos were offered by students from Coronado teacher Jordan Sveen's Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) program.
The burritos replaced the previous parade breakfast format, in which pancakes had been cooked on a grill. Sveen said that preparing the food in advance made the enterprise more manageable because no actual cooking equipment had to be brought in.
The students made about 300 burritos in advance, but “we sold out,” Sveen said afterward. “Next year, we'll make double that.”
Another fundraising idea, suggested earlier this year, had been to organize a “fun run,” for which participation fees would have been charged. But that didn't come together this time, Smith said.
For the second year, the parade started at 10 a.m. instead of the previous 9. The idea was to have the event during a time when most of the stores in Old Colorado City would be open; and sure enough, afterward a number of people in Coronado garb were seen roaming the streets of the historic district.
The parade was started by Coronado's student government as part of 1981 Homecoming activities, and student elected officials - this year led by President Tegan Gough - still play a major role.
A separate but related event Sept. 24 took place across the street from the park, in front of the Old Colorado City Library, where staffers and volunteers were handing out free ice cream and selling used books for the fifth consecutive year as part of a post-parade celebration in honor of library benefactor Andrew Carnegie.
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