Parade lovers lined downtown streets Sept. 21 to see a make-believe traveling circus parade that was the opening act of Pacific High School’s homecoming week.
In 73-degree temperature with a light breeze, crowds assembled along Union and St. Louis streets to see the show. They were not all there to collect candy, although plenty of that was tossed from float vehicles and marchers.
People called out the names of their students to look in their direction as cameras flashed. One man, standing in the shade of a tree in the Community School yard, videotaped the entire parade.
As usual, first responders, the PHS marching band, flag twirlers, JROTC cadets marching in perfect step and homecoming attendants in convertibles led the parade.
Gina Pingleton, organizer of the children’s memorial, Adams Garden, was the grand marshal.
In a show of hometown pride, the Class of 1973 returned to march together.
But it was the individual and class floats that drew roars from the crowd as the elementary schools carried the theme “Under the Big Top” to extremes.
One after the other, mock circus wagons, some very realistic representations, carrying gorillas, tigers and elephants, streamed past.
Zitzman Elementary School was all about elephants. Some students rode in a float with a purple and white tent overflowing with elephants and a large sign that read “Trunk the Eagles.”
Following the float, was a large portion of the student body wearing sandwich boards with elephant fronts and back. Attached between the eyes and mouth on the front were colorful slinkies that bobbed, elephant-trunk fashion, toward the ground.
Show Me Acro, the new acrobatics gym on Rose Lane, entered a realistic circus wagon with an acrobat on top performing a series of elaborate handstands for the crowd.
The lengthy parade took 36 minutes to pass one location.