These days, it is typical to see the crowd four-to five deep in areas from Glenview to the stadium and packed for the rest of the route. Like the Bay Memorial Day Parade, the Homecoming Parade draws participation from all kinds of groups.
With the fire and police departments leading the way, there will also be several floats from the Bay Alumni Foundation, which will hold alumni from the 1940s to present day. This year, a few Bay Classes that are holding their reunions will also participate in the parade. The phenomenal Bay High marching band, student council, class officers, scout troops, youth groups, homecoming court, and sports teams will play a part.
This year will also feature the Bay Alumni Foundation’s newest inductees into the Distinguished Alumni and Distinguished Educator Hall of Fame.
The parade celebrates 25 years in 2019! As it has been said many times, out of challenge and controversy, people often come together for the good of all.
This is, to some degree, the story behind the founding of the parade. In 1992, Bay Village experienced an extremely rare and short-lived teacher strike that lasted a few weeks, and in 1994, when it was time for a much needed school levy, the climate was less than favorable.
Amy Fritz Brill was the chair of the levy effort that would be on that fall’s ballot. As a proud 1978 graduate (and cheerleader) from BHS, she knew she needed to rally the community in a positive and collective effort that would be open and appealing to everyone. “A homecoming parade might just be the thing we need right now,” she thought. “A reminder of the positive aspects of a healthy community and school system that are the reasons many of us came to and stay in Bay Village.”
A committee was formed with Amy as chairperson, and included volunteers from the community (Lois Huffman, Linda & Jim Erickson, Dee Woodbery, Pete Winzig, Joy Corbit, Tom Hitchcock, Amy Huntley, Susan Fain, Linda Karl, Jayne Cohn, Gerry Horning, Carol Shockley, Mary Morris, Rosemarie Crudele, Andi Dickman, George Massey, and Rob Grady), the school board (Nancy Rodgers, Carol Pancoast, Larry Elmore, Cathy Gilchrist, and Karen Lieske), teachers (Chick Millheim, Paul Lehman, Ruth Purdy, Tony Frasier, David Frost and Pete Hussey), as well as administration officials (Superintendent Randy Stortz, Treasurer John Cavalier, Public Relations Officer Barb Doidge, and Debbie Putnam). Bay High principal Joe Loomis and Bay Middle School Principal Dave Wilson rounded out the committee. Linda Karl headed up the efforts around the parade, a “one-time” event.
25 years later, the parade continues to grow and remains a wonderful example of civic pride, small town traditions, and Americana. Thank you to Amy, Linda, and all who worked to make it a reality, and thank you to all who have continued to make it such a wonderful event. This includes the school administration, the police and fire departments, the Bay Alumni Foundation, those businesses who graciously sponsor the event, and all who participate.
The parade steps off on September 20th at the corner of Wolf and Cahoon Roads at 5:45pm. We look forward to seeing everyone along the route – or in the parade – and we welcome all BHS Alumni to stop by the Bay Alumni Foundation tent at the game!
Fire up Rockets!!