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Libertyville celebrates homecoming with drive-through parade

Freshman Marissa Jahn, a member of JV cheerleading, shakes poms as cars pass during the drive-through homecoming parade at Libertyville High School Saturday.Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

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A tradition that involves members of the community as well as students and faculty, the Libertyville High School homecoming parade took a different turn this year with an on-campus celebration Saturday.

Over the course of 45 minutes starting at 10 a.m., a stream of cars entered off Route 176 and made a counterclockwise loop around the school, where they were greeted by members of about 20 stationary student organizations and activities, including clubs, sports teams and fine arts groups. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the parade has traditionally taken place on Milwaukee Avenue through downtown Libertyville.

Cheerleaders waving pom-poms greeted people in their cars as they entered and exited the school driveway, and the marching band, which included a drum line, added to the spirited atmosphere while playing near the main entrance outside the building. Members of the football teams lined the drive between the stadium and the practice fields, and the homecoming court stood near the south side of the school.

“I think it’s going great. The kids are super-excited to be here and celebrate homecoming in a different way this year,” said Student Activities Director Jennifer Uliks. “Although we couldn’t have a traditional parade, we thought ‘why not have a reverse parade?'”

Seniors Hannah Wilson, Shannon Skinner and Kate Barry waved cloth banners they decorated. Members of the trio felt the reverse parade was well received.

“There’s really a lot of spirit from the whole town. There’s a lot of support too,” Wilson said.

Skinner said she was excited that students were still able to celebrate homecoming, and noted the consistent flow of cars during the event, which included alumni, parents and students.

“All the cars decorated with black and orange is so fun. It really shows how much the high school is part of the community and how much everyone is supporting us,” Skinner said.