Helias Prepares for the 2016 Homecoming Parade   By Riley Bond and Malorie Crocker

Helias students are right now preparing for the 2016 homecoming parade. Helias is also celebrating their 60th anniversary of homecomings.

“Homecoming has changed a lot,” said Coach Dan Mathes, Helias Counselor. “I think we have dialed it down considerably. When I first came here we had individual class days. When it was your day, you came in the night before and decorated the hallways for your class. Each class always tried to compete to get the best decorations. Those days were wild,” said Mathes.

This year’s parade centers around the theme “Turnin Up for Homecoming.” Students are preparing to turn up by making the parade be bumpin with many genres of music. 

​All four classes have been working diligently this week to prepare the class floats. The freshmen class will lead the procession of floats with the theme of Disco. The freshmen are hoping to get down and boogie in style. With a few vehicles or floats in between, juniors will follow bumpin’ and thumpin’ to the theme of Hip Hop. Seniors will dose’ doe on down the parade with the theme of Country. Last but not least the Sophomore class will be Rockin’ down the road. Each class battles to get the best judgment to win best float recognition.

​Helias parade lineups are always packed. This year’s parade consists of 51 people, floats, convertibles, and marching bands in the line up. Helias has eight previous graduate classes participating this year, starting with 1957 and going all the way to last year’s 2007, with many classes in between. Most of Helias sports or other activities such as clubs will be in the parade. Helias will celebrate the 60th Anniversary of Homecomings, but also the 50th Anniversary of the Baseball Float.

​Towards the beginning of the parade, spectators will see the 2015 court, and towards the end of that grouping, will be the 2016 court. The court will start with the top five runner ups (Addison Linhardt, Sarah Pierle, Molly Farnam, Gorgia Roark, Ashley Rehagen) following them will be the top five or should we say top four (Lanie Hentges, Kendyl LePage, Brenna McNutt, Lexy Lamb). Ending the 2016 court is the Homecoming queen, Kayla Yanksey.

“I’m really excited to see everyone at the parade,” said Kayla Yanskey. “I’m in the process of being taught the queen wave by Mrs. Seifert, so hopefully I will be ready! I am extremely honored to be apart of the whole court. I’m looking forward to having a fun and exciting homecoming weekend with everyone! Being queen is an experience I will never forget, and I will always be grateful for this opportunity.”

​This year students would like to thank the student council for putting the parade together, and they would like to give a special thank you to Dalton Buschjost, for putting the lineup together.

“Being in charge of the parade is actually not that difficult; it is just very stressful,” said Dalton Buschjost. “Planning the parade starts as soon as we come back to school. As the weeks progress, it’s almost like having to complete items on a checklist. You get one thing done and then move on to the next thing. The stressful part really comes with the convertible hunt. You have to call and email person after person in hope of finding enough convertibles. To put planning the parade into perspective, it’s just like planning a party throughout downtown with around eighty people at the party while hundreds watch it. I also have to give credit to the rest of the student council officers, Mrs. Twyman, and past parade chair, Emily Pestka. They have done major background work to help my life easier these past couple months and I am truly thankful for that,” said Buschjost.

The Helias Student Council works hard to put homecomings together every year.

Many ​Helias students are excited for this 2016 Helias Homecoming Parade.

“I’m excited for the parade this year because this year I actually put effort towards the junior float and my float has a really cool sign,” said Jenn Hassler.  

Many students hope to see lots of other students and Helias supporters at the parade on Friday, October 7, at 6:30 p.m. Following the parade will be a bonfire and fireworks show celebrating the kick-off to homecoming weekend at Helias, at the construction zone of the new Helias athletic complex. On Saturday, the football team will prepare to battle in the homecoming football game at Atkins Stadium in Jefferson City against the Kirksville Tigers.

“I think it will be very exciting game on Saturday night,” said Dalton Weaver. “You always want to win your senior homecoming game, so hopefully we come out and get a big win.” 

Ending the homecoming festivities will be the Helias Homecoming Dance on Sunday evening in the Helias gym.

“It’s a great experience and opportunity for Helias to come together as a family and celebrate a tradition,” said Drake Winder. “I think it really brings Helias together as a family.” 

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