Principal David Steward devised the alternative to the Friday afternoon dash across town for a 3:30 parade as a way to enhance safety. Holding the event on a Thursday, the day before homecoming, offered even less pressure.
For the crowd, the setting was ideal. Spectators started gathering on downtown sidewalks as early as 6:30 p.m. Limited traffic during evening hours proved to be an additional benefit for the children on foot and bicyclists gathered for the occasion.
The homecoming theme of "Techno Trance" provided a bit of a visualization challenge for the students. They solved it be creating four floats using a dance club setting. Pounding electronic dance music and flashing lights on every class's entry provided a unique way to preach football dominance for tonight's game against the Mt. Vernon Mountaineers.
The vintage police car donated to the Monett Police Department led the parade. A Monett city fire truck followed with bright flashing lights and sounding horns.
The Southwest Area Career Center's Junior ROTC class headed the student entries. A color guard and two marching squads in uniform added ceremony and dignity to the event. Next came the Marching Pride Band and Flag Corps. Horns blaring and drums beating got the crowd on its feet.
The freshman class float captured first place honors with its slogan, "Mosh the Mountaineers." A football-suited captive in a square cage sat in the center of the float as the students danced to a heavy dance beat.
The junior float took second place with a presentation shaped like a football field. Unfortunate captives on this "Club Cub" float were alternately pummeled by the dancing tribe. The float slogan was "There's More Than One Way To Beat The Mountaineers."
The other float entries tied for third place. The seniors had a giant hypnotic wheel at the rear of their entry and a theme declaring "Spin 'Em Into A Trance."
The sophomores also had a dance party with their leader popping out of a foil-covered pedestal at center. The float theme was "Go Mo origato" or "Go Monett" in translation. The theme was a variation on the 1983 dance song by Styx with its lyrics, "Domo arigato, Mister Roboto."
Homecoming royalty preceded the floats from each class. Queen Mayra Almaras, senior attendants Chelsea Ash and Aubrey LaGarce, junior attendant Nicollette Fellwock, sophomore attendant Andrea Soriano and freshman attendant Megan Johnson all rode in convertibles and waved to the crowd.
High School cheerleaders accompanied the procession. At the rear came a long marching procession of junior high and Mighty Mite football players and cheerleaders, many throwing candy into the crowd.
The parade concluded in about 15 minutes. The crowd, filled with smiling faces, lingered a bit in the warm evening air, remembering the spirit of the moment, the lasting keepsake of homecoming.