It has been nearly 20 years since Charlin Hernandez and Kasey Graziano participated in homecoming festivities at Carlsbad High School.
Both remember a time when school spirit was strong during homecoming week and Hernandez recalled riding in parades and waving to future Cavemen and Cavegirls.
“You know when you see these kids somehow in their minds, you’re forming their goals. Some little girl in her mind says, ‘I want to be that.’ It kind of fills you with possibilities for the young kids in our town,” Hernandez said.
COVID-19 health mandates resulted in the cancellation of last year’s homecoming festivities in Carlsbad.
This year Homecoming is scheduled for 7 p.m. Sept. 10 as the Cavemen host El Paso Coronado at Ralph Bowyer Cavemen Stadium. A Homecoming parade is scheduled for Sept. 9 in addition to a pep rally at the Carlsbad Beach Bandshell.
“I think not having anything last year brings back a sense of normalcy. This is just a bit of normal life and I think we all need that,” Graziano said.
Graziano is a teacher at Carlsbad High School and is an advisor to the Carlsbad High School Student Council.
“I used to be the lead advisor and she was my assistant,” Hernandez said. “I quit teaching in December 2020.”
She is now a site project manager for the Nuclear Waste Partnership in Carlsbad.
“(Graziano) reached out to me for guidance and I volunteered to help with the parade portion and creating forms for on-campus activities and the parade registration,” Hernandez said.
She said lineup for parade floats starts at 4:30 p.m. at the Carlsbad High School campus.
The parade starts at 5:20 p.m. It will travel east on Church Street and end at the Lake Carlsbad Beach.
“We’re ready for the community to come together with a different intent instead of all this fear and anxiety and unknown and let’s bring back something normal,” Hernandez said.
She said people wishing to attend the parade should follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID-19 guidelines for vaccination, wear a mask, and staying six feet apart from others.
Hernandez said people should attend at their own discretion if they do not want to spread or come in contact with the virus.
“I think throwing this together like we did brings some enlightenments back to the students. That’s one of the reasons we do what we do,” she said.
Carlsbad Mayor Dale Janway said Thursday’s parade and pep rally meant a potential return for some community events in Carlsbad.
“We’re excited to be as close to normal as possible and have a return to positive community events such as Thursday’s Homecoming parade and pep rally. We encourage everyone to attend and show their support for the Cavemen,” he said.
Carlsbad Municipal Schools Superintendent Dr. Gerry Washburn said the outdoor activities were not as restrictive versus indoor venues.
“I do encourage people with our cases up when they’re in crowds that they wear a mask and protect themselves and others. Outside of that, I’m glad kids are getting to do activities that they ought to be doing and its part of us learning to start to live with the COVID (-19) world that’s going to be with us for a while,” he said.
Mike Smith can be reached at 575-628-5546 or by email at [email protected] or @ArgusMichae on Twitter.