The parade is coming to town

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— Fifteen years ago, Jeff Simon used the Thursday before the Moffat County High School Homecoming Parade to prepare for the football game.

This year, Simon, now the high school athletics director, is essentially doing the same thing.

Only this time, he won't be on the float throwing candy from the fire truck the football team rode through town.

"It's a good tradition, for the students and the community," Simon said. "This year I'll be one of the administrators on the sidelines. I (rode the float) for my four years; now I can let some other kids enjoy it."

The homecoming parade starts at 1:30 p.m. today at Craig Middle School and then rides south on Yampa Avenue to Victory Way and west to the Safeway.

Spectators can expect 30 entries, led by the Veterans of Foreign Wars honor guard and the high school marching band, said Sheila Pluym, a high school para-professional. This is Pluym's first year as the parade coordinator. Other entries include cars and horseback riders, as well as one float.

"It's been chaos," Pluym joked. "Lots of phone calls, of faxes, of e-mails. People have told me this is a tradition and they can't imagine homecoming without it."

This year's theme is Craig's upcoming centennial. All of the entries this year have to address that idea, Pluym said.

Which is what the freshmen have done with their class float built on a 20 feet long industrial trailer.

"Our theme is 100 years of Craig," said Sylvia Duncan, a high school English teacher who helped the freshmen build their parade entry. "We're playing the Red Devils at homecoming, so we're putting the devil in an old-timey jail, and there'll be an old-timey sheriff watching him."

The freshmen might be the lone float in this year's parade, Pluym said. A lot of the students have just been too busy.

Ben Winslow signed up because he heard there weren't enough freshmen helping out. He's nothing if not a proud Bulldog, he said.

"Some friends called me and said they needed more help," Winslow said. "Turned out to be kind of a fun thing to do. And I just like to show school spirit."

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