It was a cool, grey afternoon at Victory Field on Saturday and while dull skies may have diminished the event’s turnout, a few dozen Barrington High School students weren’t deterred from using the annual homecoming parade as a showcase for their school spirit.The parade featured a number of floats put together in representation of student classes and groups. While the event was initially scheduled for Friday evening, it was moved to Saturday because of rain along with the homecoming football game.
The high school faculty parking lot became an impromptu staging area in the minutes before the parade, with students making last minute adjustments and additions to their floats.
The Barrington High School cheerleaders, for example, were stuffing red plastic cups full of candy. The squad’s float was assembled in the spirit of tail gaiting and included a pair of crossbars. Each cheerleader donned a New England Patriots jersey for the ride except for captain Caitlin Cardarelli who proudly demonstrated her affinity for the Dallas Cowboys.
Caitlin said the cheerleaders began thinking about their float at the beginning of the season and started assembly on Thursday.
The cheerleaders also brought along colored beads and other items to toss into the crowd as a means of drumming up enthusiasm. It’s something that strikes at the core of cheerleading and because of that, Caitlin said the group was under a bit more pressure to put together an impressive float compared with theirpeers.
“I definitely think there’s twice, five times more pressure on us because we’re the Barrington cheerleaders,” she said.
“We have to have a good float. If we don’t, it looks bad on us. We have to make sure it looks good, preppy, with school spirit.”
The student council’s float was developed with the whole school in mind. It featured signs for BHS and Eagles as opposed to a specific class or group. It also featured at least one student who wasn’t about to let the weather damper her excitement.
“Us Eagles, we fly through any weather,” said Beth Mullin.
The Class of 2015, meanwhile, developed their float around the football team’s homecoming opponent. Fly higher than the Townies was the motto and class president Elizabeth Sawyer said the group had been planning for about a week.
Like the cheerleaders, the sophomores brought along props to garner crowd support, such as toy footballs spray painted blue and gold.
In 2011, the sophomore class was awarded with the parade’s best float. This year’s junior class didn’t put together a float nor did the freshman, giving the sophomores a solid chance to keep the crown in tenth grade.
At the end of the day, however, seniors ruled the afternoon. The class’ float leaned heavily on school colors and was deemed the parade’s best during a halftime ceremony.
One notable absence from the parade was homecoming queen Alice Burgess, who was in North Carolina competing in a cross-country race. In her place, homecoming king Karl Aspelund taped a picture of Alice’s face to a cardboard cutout that rode alongside him.