Is it going to rain on the parade?

Homecoming Being Crushed By Mayor and Finance Committee?

By Josh Resnek

The Everett Public Schools annual Homecoming, one of the city’s longest-standing and most cherished tradition, is apparently being axed in order to save money, according to those familiar with the workings of the mayor’s newly-formed finance committee, a city hall source who wished to remain unnamed, has told the Leader Herald.

“This is it for the Homecoming,” the source said. “The finance committee and the mayor are certainly going to stop it as a money saver.”Councilor Michael McLaughlin said he heard the rumors this week and expressed his displeasure. “I think it’s awful and the people I’ve talked to feel the same way,” he said. “You can’t put a price tag on community spirit and pride.”

“If these rumors are true, I will fight to overturn such a decision. It is so short sighted and being made by people who don’t live here, who don’t understand that you just can’t close up shop on community pride and participation,” said McLaughlin.

The Homecoming event every year involves the participation of nearly every major element of the city government and the public schools.

Over the years, Homecoming has grown into a full weekend of events enjoyed by tens of thousands of residents of all ages. The festivities start on Friday night with a dance for EHS students, followed by a fireworks display in Glendale Park.

On Saturday morning, hundreds of runners take part in the “Homecoming Hustle,” a 5K road race that is 100-percent funded by the generosity of Schnitzer Northeast. All proceeds benefit the EHS organization “Friends Fighting Breast Cancer” in memory of Anthony Malione, Peter Dolan, and Janet Connolly, three beloved EPS administrators.

There is also a Homecoming Breakfast on Saturday morning, which benefits the EHS Parent-Teacher Organization and its scholarship fund. In addition, EHS 50th reunions are traditionally held the weekend of Homecoming, and a dedicated space is given to the graduates at the Homecoming Breakfast, and they ride the parade route aboard a special trolley.

The parade itself is an extravagant affair, with 150-plus marching bands, entertainers, military vehicles, performers, giant floats, children’s characters and popular
Aleppo Shriners.

“It is a huge event pulled off by the School Department, with the help of city departments, including police, re and DPW,” said the city hall source. “The whole thing is getting sucked into a black hole and will just disappear. It’s a shame.”

Politicians,including the mayor, have taken part in this event ever since it started, marching in the parade, attending the various events, and partying with constituents on their front porches or their back yards during the day of events.

“You can easily make the argument that it is the biggest event on Everett’s calendar with all due respect to Village Fest,” said the city hall source.

School Department estimates of the cost for last year’s Homecoming events put it in the $100,000 range.

 

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