Owasso High School Abandons Homecoming Parade, Festival Takes Its Place
OWASSO, Oklahoma - Changes are coming to Owasso High School's homecoming traditions this year. Students made the decision to kick off homecoming celebrations without a parade, and now hundreds are signing a petition.
The homecoming pep rally will take place at the stadium in just a few weeks. Students and school leaders said it is meant to be a community event, not just for high schoolers.
Right after that there will be a festival instead of a parade. Like many families in the district, the parade is a tradition for Holly Hubbell and her 2nd and 7th grade children.
"It's very important to us. It's something we look forward to every single year,” Hubbell said.
She said she is disappointed there will not be a parade this year.
"We all love this school. We all love this community. I think that's why we're fighting so hard to keep the tradition of this parade,” Hubbell said.
"Change can be hard. Change can be scary,” student Jesse Anderson said.
Anderson is a senior at Owasso High, and part of the leadership class that made the decision to go with a festival instead of a parade.
He said that decision was made after learning about unexpected fees for a city permit, and concerns about having enough space for everyone.
“We were running into where we were having to limit the amount of floats in the parade,” Anderson said. “But there were so many people that wanted to be involved."
The leadership class is made up of about 25 students, some in elected positions, who make decisions together when it comes to school events.
"It wasn't just an overnight decision, like some may believe. It was actually very long, almost a month-long conversation that happened,” Anderson said.
But there's another conversation happening online. Nearly 700 people, including Hubbell, have signed a petition to keep the parade.
“We would like for them to reconsider, if not for this year, then for next year,” Hubbell said.
Principal Mark Officer said he welcomes the feedback from parents and others in the community who are upset about the changes.
"I want every community member to feel like they can call, email, come visit at any time,” Officer said.
The homecoming community pep rally and festival will take place October 10th.