Homecoming 2021: A Parade To Be Remembered

In a typical year, the homecoming football game is a vibrant event: the bleachers are packed with fans watching the big game, and students shuffle excitedly around the Marion Street track, buying clothing and food. However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this typical homecoming experience was completely changed; from mask-wearing, to the limitation of spectators, much of what the student body looks for in homecoming has disappeared. However, Assistant Principal Matthew Sarosy was determined to find a way to celebrate the senior body by organizing one of the most iconic forms of celebration during the pandemic: a car parade.  

“With everything over the last year, it was very unique,” Sarosy said about his experience planning the car parade. “It was great to see people be creative and come together…we’re just trying to make it as special as possible,” added Sarosy. 

The parade began at 12:15 pm on Saturday, April 10 as a precursor to the homecoming football game. The parade centered on senior athletes to fit the occasion and featured a line of seniors in their cars celebrating with honking horns and wide smiles. Leading the procession was Superintendent Melissa Burak and Principal Joseph Rainis, followed by Slate Vice President and Homecoming Queen Maeve Mooney in a bright red vintage convertible.  

“The parade was so nice because we got to honor the seniors in different sports, like we normally would at pep rallies,” Mooney said. “Since this year we didn’t have a pep rally, I think it’s really nice because now all the seniors get recognized,” added Mooney. The seniors were surrounded by cheerful and supportive community members, who lined up on both sides of Union Avenue and Marion Street as the parade made its way from the high school to Marion Street Elementary. With the thick sense of excitement and celebration in the air, Lynbrook community members, young and old, came out of their houses to cheer on the senior class. When asked how she thinks she will look back on her last homecoming experience, Mooney replied, “It’s definitely different, so it’s kind of bittersweet, but I know I will treasure these memories forever.”  

Slate President and Homecoming King Joe Giovinco, who also played in the game against Levittown, said he thought the parade was a “great idea” and a great way to honor the seniors who participated. Like Mooney, Giovinco also felt it was a memorable experience. “I think that the administration worked really hard to make this experience as normal as they possibly could,” he said. “Unfortunately we lost our game, but I will definitely remember my senior homecoming for the rest of my life,” added Giovinco.  

Despite some initial disappointment due to the changes brought upon by the pandemic, the parade’s participating seniors appeared to make the most of the moment and festivities. Sarosy said that he hopes the seniors will recognize this parade as a last-resort decision in a challenging year. “I hope it sticks out as a different and unique time, rather than what will become the norm,” he said. “My goal is next October to have a regular homecoming and get as many people involved as possible,” added Sarosy.

Many people share in Sarosy’s hopes, as the world looks forward to once again enjoying typical and treasured traditions.