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Saturday, June 25, 2016

Monett pride on display during annual homecoming parade

Monday, September 28, 2009

The MHS Marching Pride Flag Corps offered drama and color to the homecoming parade. [Times Photo by Murray Bishoff]
Using a movie theme, Monett High School students brought a celebratory air to downtown Monett on Friday as people lined Broadway for one of the town's two parades of the year. Perfect weather greeted the revelry. The Marching Pride band, students and a cheering crowd combined to make a big noise for the occasion.

The senior class took top honors for their float, recreating elements from the 1998 Adam Sandler film, "The Waterboy." Decorated like a swamp, the float had its protagonist on a fan-powered boat, sitting back from a shack-like home. Hanging around the scene were beer cans, dangling like wind chimes. A gator and outdoor grill completed the atmospheric setting, decorated by camouflage swamp colors of greens and black on foliage.

Preceding the float were students on riding mowers, the main mode of transportation for the hero. Behind the float was a camper trailing a string of beer cans as part of the film's happy ending. Written on one side of the float was: "Momma says MHS gonna win." On the other side, it said: "Momma says CJ is the devil."

Taking second place was a Monett translation of the "Wizard of Oz," presented by the freshman class. A home erected at the front end of the float was labeled "House of Burl Fowler" in recognition of Monett's championship football coach and the stadium named in his honor. Dangling from under the house in front and off the sides were the uniform-colored legs of Carl Junction football players, on whom the house had landed.

A sign on the float declared "Follow the Yellow Brick Road to Victory." At the back of the float was a goal post and several winged monkeys. Freshman class members stood on the float with shoes on their knees, mimicking short-statured Munchkins. Following the float in costume and on foot were Dorothy and other principal characters from the film.

Taking third place was the sophomore float. In the center of the float was a ticket box, bearing a sign announcing the new film: "Silence of the Bulldogs." Approaching the ticket box from the rear was a red carpet, where stars lined up for interviews and photos by a troupe of paparazzi.

On the other side of the ticket box, a theater was set up, complete with chairs for the audience. Gagged and tied to the movie screen on the back wall were several Carl Junction football players, who took abuse from those in the audience who threw things at them. Yellow bunting around the sides of the float was decorated by yards of looped 35-millimeter film.

The junior class did not have a float in the parade.

A police escort headed up the parade procession. Members of the Marching Pride band and flag corps followed with their director, Danika White.

The JROTC color guard marched in uniform with flags while another dozen cadets carried the large garrison flag down Broadway. Interspersed along with parade were vehicles carrying the MHS cheerleaders and Pizzazz Poms dance team.

Members of the royal court, riding in convertibles and wearing gowns, preceded each class float. Freshman attendant Ariana Diaz was the first, followed by the freshman float and sophomore attendant Sophie Fulton. Junior attendant Lauren Sebastian rode alone, ahead of the senior float. After the senior float came senior attendants Christine Fillinger and Iliana Rangel in separate cars. Queen Sara Hammond came last.

Following the floats, the younger students participating in football made their appearance. Mighty Mite players marched as a group, passing out candy to the crowd. They were followed by a tightly massed chanting group of Mighty Mite cheerleaders.

Many young children with their parents gathered along Broadway from Second to Sixth streets to see the parade and help cheer on the participants. Floats from the parade made another appearance at the Friday night game, when homecoming royalty was formally presented to the crowd.

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