Yesterday, I went to the smallest homecoming parade I’ve ever seen. It was a blast.
The parade was in Summit, SD–population 281 as of the 2000 census.
They have a K-12-all-under-the-same roof school, and their enrollment has actually grown a bit in the last few years–which is good because they came within about a dozen students of falling below the magic consolidation number just a couple of years ago.
(I know this because I had a distance student from that school, and he wrote a very thoughtful essay on school consolidation and how it affects the students of a small community.)
The Summit homecoming parade contains every single kid in the district from preschool through seniors. They all have candy to throw to the onlookers, who are composed of pretty much every single other person in the community besides the kids and teachers and administration riding the floats.
Many of the kids didn’t just toss the candy, they pelted it at the grownups. The grownups ducked the projectile sweets, then picked up the candy to bring home to the kids who pelted it at them.
Or, they wait to throw it back. Because the Summit homecoming parade goes around the short route twice in order for it to take more than about five minutes for the whole show to play through.
By the time they came around again, most of the kids were out of candy, having been very generous with their confectionary ammunition in the first go-round.
A few intrepid onlookers collected a small cache of candy and surprised the kids by raining it back on the ones who’d been maybe just a little more aggressive than they should have been.
It was all in good fun, of course, and just what a small town parade should be. The onlookers careful cleaned up every bit of scattered candy from the streets before everyone dispersed to get ready for their tailgate parties and the big game.