Parade fires up 40th annual Coronado Homecoming

       The 2010 Coronado High Homecoming Parade cost about three times as much as the previous year's version. Ouch.
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In a moment of Coronado parade zaniness, Homecoming Queen candidate Maria Escobar is serenaded by freshman boys as the Corvette she’s on turns up Colbrunn Court next to Bancroft Park.
Westside Pioneer photo

       And, up to $4,000 will be needed to pay for next year's. Ouch again.
       But for now, the Westside school's students can bask in the pleasure of their exuberant swing down the avenue in front of hundreds of people for the school's 40th annual Homecoming Oct. 16.
       “I'm really, really happy,” said Student Body President (and Homecoming Queen candidate) Maria Escobar afterward. “We've gotten lots of calls that we did a really good job.”

Cougar mascots were turning up everywhere, including on drums for Coronado's marching band.
Westside Pioneer photo

       As in past years, the parade featured entries from many of Coronado's clubs, sports teams and classes (seniors, juniors, sophomore and freshman), as well as from all its feeder schools. Live music was provided by bands from Coronado, West and Holmes.
       Decorations and costumes (not to mention body paint) were widespread, and hundreds of balloons could be seen. This year's “In the Jungle” theme was followed in some cases - although it seemed less dominant than plain old school spirit, backed by school colors (red and gold).
       Awards for best floats had not been determined at press time, but the girls' volleyball entry appeared to have the most jungle-esque style, with players wearing simulated animal skins and surrounded by what appeared to be exotic live plants.

Riders on the senior-class float show school spirit and some touches of the parade's "In the Jungle" theme.
Westside Pioneer photo

       Dave Hughes, a Vietnam War veteran honored as the parade's annual Westside Recipient, could probably have related stories about what the jungles there were like.
       In keeping with Coronado parade tradition, the Homecoming princes and princesses were transported via Corvette convertibles (King was Greg Gius; Queen was Alysha McKibben).
       The parade had about 30 parade entries in all. Starting at 9 a.m. on a warm, sunny day, the high-spirited jaunt lasted about 45 minutes, with students, staff and parents crowding into Bancroft Park afterward for a pep rally to fire up the football team for the afternoon's game. (Sadly, Coronado lost its eighth straight Homecoming contest, 42-7, to the Classical Academy.)
       Escobar and the Student Council are already looking ahead to their school's 41st annual Homecoming next fall. Before this year's parade, it appeared extra money had been raised to help cover next year's costs, but that turned out not to be the case. “We barely have any left over,” Escobar said. “We're pretty much starting from scratch.”
       Stiffer regulations, stemming from city liability concerns, have led to more than tripled costs from 2009. They would be even higher were it not for Rick Johnson, a Coronado alumnus and owner of a plumbing business, who volunteers his workers to set out and afterward remove no-parking signs and street-closure barriers.
       Escobar, a senior, now anticipates being the second student body president to advance-plan a Homecoming Parade that will occur after she graduates. (Tyler Romero was the first, following the '09 event.) “We're going to talk about it in Student Council and see what ideas we can get,” she said. “Hopefully people will be creative.”
       In the meantime, contributions from the public are welcome. Checks can be made out to the Save the Parade Fund and mailed to Coronado High School, 1590 W. Fillmore St., Colorado Springs 80904.

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