WILLIAMSTON- From student groups and athletes, to community members and ministries, this year’s Williamston Homecoming parade had something for everyone.The parade took place Oct. 6 before Williamston High School competed against the Fowlerville Gladiators at their home field.
The parade route began at St. Mary’s Church on North Cedar Street at 6 p.m. and finished at the gates of the Larkin-Nortman Memorial Field right before the game began. The parade featured many important teams and organizations within the community.
One group involved in Homecoming was the Harvest House Ministries.
The Homecoming event brought in revenue to the community through event parking that was donated to the Harvest House Ministries.
Ministry member Tim Baise said that the venue previously belonged to the old Williamston High School, and now the parade and football games allow them to use the parking lot to make money for charity.
“We give all the proceeds of our parking profit back into the community,” Baise said. “It is $5 for a parking spot, and we’re in a great location right next to the field, as well as right next to the lot where the parade ends.”
The money raised by Harvest House Ministries is used for food, clothing and medical supply donations to those in need.
In addition to the charitable participants within the community, the Homecoming event also featured many groups within Williamston High School.
Homecoming parade participants were chosen through an online application. The form included the type of transportation involved, whether or not the group would supply a banner and the contact information for the leader involved with organizing.
The featured sports teams at the parade included the volleyball team, swim team and cheer squad.
Sophomore Chloe Smith, a member of the cheer team performing during the parade as well as the halftime show, said that the squad has been practicing for months in preparation for Homecoming.
“Today we teamed up with the junior cheerleaders from kindergarten to middle school ages for the parade,” Smith said. “They will be performing with us at our next game too.”
Another group in the parade that worked diligently towards their performance was the Williamston High School Band.
Sophomore snare player Jenna Ellis said that the group had been working towards the big day.
“We practice every Monday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. in order to prepare for the parade and football games,” Ellis said. “We also have rehearsals during the day because band is a class built into our schedules.”
Sophomore base player Maya Malerman reiterates the importance of the team practicing.
“We have been practicing a lot for today,” Malerman said. “Being a part of the parade as well as the game is a big deal, especially for Homecoming. The marching band is a big part of that Homecoming experience for the town.”
Malerman and Ellis both belong to the drum line within the Williamston Band, and plan to continue with drumming throughout the duration of their high school careers.
In addition to the teams and clubs involved in the parade, Williamston High School Student Government announced that the Grand Marshals for the 2017 Homecoming Parade are Marilyn Thompson and Deb Lynch, who both retired from the district last year.
The football game followed the parade with a 7 p.m. kick off. Williamston beat Fowlerville, 44-7. The Hornets play their next game at home against the Haslett Vikings on Oct. 13.