Rancho Cotate Homecoming Parade shows greater student participation
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By Nicolas Grizzle  October 22, 2009 04:22 pm

Ursula the Sea Witch was probably the only one not having a good time at Rancho Cotate High School’s Homecoming Parade Saturday morning. Jordan Norris wore a scowl on the seniors’ float, but she was just playing her part. Ursula doesn’t really get into happy celebrations like everyone else.
But Ariel, King Triton and the rest of the gang on the float danced and sang down Snyder Lane from Creekside past the high school. The “Little Mermaid” float was a hit with the crowd lining the streets. It was more spread out along the longer route, but attendance seemed up and participation in the parade was far greater than previous years.
“I think we just had a lot of people who wanted to come this year from different clubs and sports that weren’t interested before,” said Anthony Hickling, a Rancho junior on the homecoming planning committee. He said promotion and advertising before the event were key in the success of this year’s event.
Lindsay Peters, a junior also on the committee said she loved the energy from the floats in the parade. Rhonie Vidler, a senior on the committee was impressed with the band.
The marching band was certainly a spectacle, marching in full uniform led by drum major Monica Peterson and director Tim Decker.
Rancho’s sports teams were also represented. The football teams and girls’ soccer team marched in uniform, as well as the cheerleading squad. Clubs like MECHA and the Chemistry Club also joined the parade this year.
Though most parade entries were walking, Grand Marshals Ron Lunsford and Mark Alton were chauffeured in classic cars to honor their retirement this year.
Floats were themed around Disney movies. Freshmen chose Cinderella, sophomores had Peter Pan and juniors went with Aladdin. All rode lavishly decorated floats and wore bright costumes.
The parade was going to culminate with a festival, but about a week before it was to take place the planners learned of the necessary insurance for such an event, and the budget didn’t allow for it to happen. Hickling said next year the committee will plan for this in advance and there will be a festival, likely at the school, after the parade.
Rancho started holding a parade three years ago after a long hiatus. In the 70s, the homecoming parade was held on the football field and featured mostly the homecoming royalty. This year, royalty was pulled in a horse-drawn carriage but was not the focus of the event.

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