RAHS changes Homecoming Parade route

The RAHS Marching Band walks in last year’s Homecoming Parade. This year’s parade route will flow around the high school, rather than through the downtown. (Reedsburg Independent file photo)

Reedsburg Area High School Homecoming will look quite different this fall.

Student Council, which organizes the celebration, announced that it has altered the parade route, among other activities.

Traditionally, the parade flowed through downtown Reedsburg. This year, the parade will be held strictly on school grounds at 5 p.m. Sept. 22.

Organizers say the change is due to safety. In recent years, parades across the country have experienced crashes, deaths and threats. The Waukesha Christmas Parade and Highland Park Parade are two examples.

Running along a state highway is also risky, especially on a weekday afternoon. First responders and police have to prepare for the parade, and ensuring safety is more difficult during Friday afternoon traffic.

Council decided that having the parade flow along streets surrounding the school grounds would make more sense. It would also give visitors the chance to check out the latest additions to the grounds. The Viking Village Beaver Pavilion, for instance, will not only be open but will also host a new event.

Also, the new route and time would allow more members of the public to attend.

The usual floats are expected, along with the high school marching and band dance team.

Another new addition this year is the Homecoming Carnival, which will be held the same day as the parade in the Viking Village Beaver Pavilion. Activities will include a celebrity dunk tank, an obstacle course, a cornhole tournament, pick a lucky duck, spike ball and others. Students will sell cotton candy, popcorn and beverages. The carnival will open to the public at 3:30 p.m. Note that the drive in front of the high school will be closed to accommodate the party, and all children must be chaperoned by parents or guardians.

The parade is a prelude to the 7 p.m. football game against Onalaska.

Other Homecoming activities, such as dress-up days and court selection, will proceed as usual. The celebration is slated the week of Sept. 18-23.

“Our students worked extremely hard to come up with a unique event that high school students, alumni and the community can be proud of,” states Miranda Strutz, RAHS dean of students and Student Council advisor. “It brings everyone together to show their #ReedsburgPride for the week’s culminating event, the Reedsburg Homecoming Football game.”

RAHS Principal Matt Terry said he’s optimistic about the changes.

 “I am extremely excited for this year’s homecoming,” he said in a statement. “These students have knocked it out of the park with their brainstorming ideas and preparations to make this year's Homecoming what it should be for our high school students, along with putting the ‘home’ in Homecoming by hosting the Friday festivities on the Reedsburg Area High School campus.”