Citizens for a Better Williams is planning to help Williams High School put tradition and fun back into homecoming next fall by organizing a grand parade and class reunions.
High Schools, colleges, and universities have celebrated homecoming (the return of alumni to a school for a special event) since the 19th century, but it was in 1911 at the University of Missouri that the first homecoming centered on a parade and football game.
Parades, which typically include class floats, sports teams, band, school organizations, and alumni, have remained a tradition in all Colusa County high schools, but imagination and student participation has been lacking for some time in Williams, alumni members said.
Citizens for Better Williams President Pat Ash, class of 1967, said the organization has met several times with school officials and the faculty, and that everyone seems to be on board with reviving a downtown parade following a pep rally, which preceeds the homecoming game on Oct. 8.
“What we need to do now is hit the ground running in August,” Ash said.
Ash said in addition to a parade, class reunions are being planned around the event.
While each class will be responsible to build their own float, the ag mechanics program at the high school will make it easier by providing each class a wooden A-frame to be used as a base, at no cost to the school.
“They will slide right into a pick-up,” Ash said. “They will all be the same. They will be covered with chicken wire and if they need help, we are going to give them design help. They can put whatever they want on them. There will also be one for the alumni.”
Ash said the alumni float will be built ahead of time so students will have an idea what they will look like when finished.
Williams High School alumnus Sajit Singh said Citizens for Better Williams encourages parents to also be involved by serving as advisors and attending the festivities.
“I’m actually excited,” Singh said. “I went to school here and homecoming was a big deal for us, and my son is going to be a freshman. I don’t know how excited he is but I’m going to be there.”
Singh said it was time Williams students returned to traditions that alumni felt were important when they were in school.
“I believe a good education is part and parcel with good high school memories, and having that experience,” Singh said. “And I think homecoming is a big part of that. To bring that back with at least some vigor is important.”
Ash said that the event would honor all Williams High School alumni, and invites them to wear their “Brown and Gold.”
The Homecoming parade will be held right after school. ■