LINCOLN PARK — A little bit of small-town America came to the city Thursday afternoon when Lincoln Park High School stepped off on its first homecoming parade.
"They don't know what it is," said school parent Shannon Waterfield. "They never had one. They don't know this is actually normal for a lot of suburban schools."
Principal Michael Boraz said it was simply a matter of the school administration, parents and Ald. Michele Smith (43rd) deciding to "get together and get on the same page at the right time. And this year we did. So here we go."
Principal Michael Boraz and the school's Lion mascot prepare for the parade. (DNAinfo/Ted Cox)
The parade stepped off on schedule at about 3:45 p.m. Thursday from behind the school at 2001 N. Orchard St., with cheerleaders in front of the football team.
First Lincoln Park High School homecoming parade steps off. pic.twitter.com/LR9btyV3uJ— Ted Cox (@tedcoxchicago) October 12, 2017
They were immediately followed by the marching band.
And of course what’s a homecoming parade without the Lincoln Park High School band? pic.twitter.com/NF2FMIg5ti— Ted Cox (@tedcoxchicago) October 12, 2017
Some 300 students were expected to take part, including athletes in other fall sports.
The parade basically traced a rectangular course east to Larrabee Street, north to Webster Avenue, west to Sheffield Avenue, south to Dickens Avenue and east back to the school.
"Supporting our local high school is key to giving our kids an excellent local public-school option," Smith wrote in a newsletter to constituents touting the parade. "LPHS is the best neighborhood high school in the city."
The Lions are scheduled to play their homecoming football game against Collins at 7:15 p.m. Friday at Lane Stadium, 2601 W. Addison St. According to Boraz, the team has not lost since dropping its non-conference opener against downstate powerhouse Geneseo, and it looks to make the playoffs for the second year in a row. "We'll have the whole side of the stands filled," he said, "and the kids will be excited."
Waterfield expected the newfound tradition to continue, saying, "This is basically a beta parade, until next year when we get floats and things like that."
Scottie Waterfield, who's on the Lincoln Park High football team, and his mom, Shannon Waterfield: "They don't know what it is," she said of the homecoming parade. (DNAinfo/Ted Cox)
On another school note, Smith said Boraz and counselor Chris Merle also raised $9,600 for Lincoln Park High in their fundraising run in the Chicago Marathon Sunday.