Story by Christina Hedding
The float theme for the 2016-17 S.S. Seward Institute High School Homecoming parade was movies and the classes went all out in their designs. After working for weeks on their floats and costumes, the students paraded down Main St. on a dreary afternoon on Sat., Oct. 1. The weather did little to dampen the spirit of the day as the students and the crowd cheered in support of their school.
The parade was led by the Florida Fire Department, who honked their horns to fire up the crowds as they proceeded down Main St. The Fire Department was followed the school’s mascot, the S.S. Seward Spartan, and by students from the seventh and eighth grade classes. The Homecoming Court rode in style in convertibles, followed by the class floats.
The freshman class rode on a grand pirate ship float based on the movie “Pirates of the Caribbean.” Members of the freshman class were dressed as characters from the film, including Capt. Jack Sparrow, Will Turner and Elizabeth Swan. Other students were dressed as pirates and carried bright green tentacles to form the impression that the float was being chased by the “Chester Kraken.” At the judges’ stand, the float stopped and preformed a skit. The students reenacted scenes from the movie as a member of the class narrated. In the end, the “Chester Kraken” was defeated by cannonball balloons and confetti cannons.
The sophomore class followed on a float decorated like a swamp, based on the movie “Shrek.” The float was covered in realistic moss and mud and members of the sophomore class were dressed as story book characters from the film including: Shrek, Princess Fiona (complete with green face paint), Puss in Boots, the King and Queen, gingerbread man and fairy godmother. At the judges’ stand the sophomores preformed a skit that placed the characters in a soccer game against the Kingdom of Chester. In the end, the players of the S.S. Seward swamp won the game, preaching the value of good sportsmanship.
The juniors came next on big screen worthy float based on “Back to the Future.” The juniors built their float around the classic clock tower scene and had a replica DeLorean that appeared to fly off of the float. The juniors float was preceded by an actual DeLorean car owned by a member of the DeLorean Owners Club of the Mid-Atlantic. The junior class contacted the club and they were more than willing to come and join the parade. They invited the crowd to take pictures with the car and make a donation to the Michael J. Fox Foundation. At the judges’ stand the juniors preformed at skit using the movie’s central plot of time travel. An S.S. Seward student, bummed about being second string on the soccer team, goes back in time with the help of “Doc” and changes the present by talking to his father. Everything was right in the end with Seward winning the homecoming soccer game against Chester and the message of never giving up was shared.
Finally, the seniors marched up to the judges’ stand ready to sing and dance their hearts out on a float based on the movie “High School Musical.” The seniors reenacted classic scenes and sang songs from the movie including “The Start of Something New,” “Get Your Head in the Game” and “We’re all in This Together.” Adding the rivalry between Florida and Chester into the plot and preaching the theme of accepting everyone for who they are no matter what they like, the seniors ended the parade on a high note.
In the end, after the judges voted, the juniors came in first place, the sophomores in second place, the freshman in third place and the seniors in fourth place. In the words of S.S. Seward Institute Principal Michael Rheaume, the Florida Homecoming Parade was “as classic small town America as you can get!”