With the turning of the first fall foliage, Freeman students prepare to enter the festivities and traditions that lead up to homecoming each year. According to senior class sponsor and Spanish teacher Sarah Snellings, the homecoming parade is a Freeman tradition that exemplifies the “diverse clubs and organizations” that make the “Freeman Family” unique.
The homecoming parade kicks off each year in the Tuckahoe Middle School parking lot as student-designed floats of all shapes and sizes march along Three Chopt Road, passing candy to the neighborhood children and families that gather to celebrate Freeman. “The little kids and their parents…line up and get so excited for the floats,” explained sophomore class treasurer Alyssa Gagen.
The class officers of each grade level lead their classmates in the development and construction of a class homecoming float that relates to an annual homecoming parade theme. This year, each class will craft floats that connect with “The Wonderful World of Freeman,” an allusion to “The Wonderful World of Disney,” and a celebration of the diverse aspects of the Freeman Family in general.
The planning and construction of each homecoming float takes immense effort and time commitment outside of school, according to junior class vice president Lauren Hargrove. The “creation of the float is a collaborative effort” said Lauren, with class officers cooperating with members of the student body during and after school to design and build the floats.
Lauren Hargrove added that the junior class plans to construct a float mirroring the Disney movie “UP,” decorated with “accessories such as balloons, a house, [and] a picket fence.” The sophomore class, on the other hand, are crafting a float based on Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World,” explained sophomore class sponsor Daniel Lewis. The sophomore class will incorporate memorable song lyrics and “express them with details from DSF,” according to Mr. Lewis.
Freshman vice president Avery Ingram revealed that the freshmen class is “teaming with the seniors” in the historical creation of a joint homecoming float. The freshmen-senior float will highlight the “journey of high school and the memories made,” said Avery.
The cooperation of two separate grade levels in the creation of a single homecoming float is a unique occurrence. According to Ms. Snellings, this year’s freshmen-senior collaboration “will be the first time that has happened” at a Freeman homecoming parade.
The senior and freshman classes view this as an opportunity to embrace the “traditions, diversity, and innovation” that make the school great, said Ms. Snellings. This “collaborative spirit” between traditionally rival classes in the parade embodies the true purpose of homecoming as a celebration of the Freeman community, tradition, and, more importantly, family.