Two words describe Everett High School’s 2016 Homecoming festivities: Bigger and better.
The Everett School Committee and its Homecoming organizers have scheduled a daylong extravaganza highlighted by a massive parade and culminating in a nonleague clash between traditional rivals and Bay State powerhouses St. John Prep and the host Crimson Tide. (3 p.m.)
The parade, which steps off at 12:30 p.m. from Glendale Park on Ferry Street, includes more than 150 marching bands, groups, entertainers, military personnel, and organizations. As usual, the parade line up features an entire unit made up of the always-entertaining Aleppo Shriners. A fun and significant addition to this year’s line up will be a collection of gigantic inflatable characters, the kind seen in nationally-televised holiday parades.
Before the parade, popular children’s entertainer Johnny the K will perform in Glendale Square beginning at 10:30 a.m., while the crowd-pleasing doo-wop band Billy D & The Rock-Its will take to the stage at 11 a.m. in Everett Square.
Fans are encouraged to arrive early for the football game inside Veterans’ Memorial Stadium, where the School Committee will join city officials and administrators in unveiling a POW-MIA Memorial Stone. The memorial is adorned with the insignias and symbols of the five branches of the U.S. Military, as well as the names of the nine Everett residents who died while serving their country in Vietnam. The memorial stone was made possible by generous donations from residents, businesses, families, and organizations. David DeFilippo of Woodlawn Memorials made the 7-foot granite stone, at cost, to further assist in making this ambitious project a reality.
“One of the main things that makes Homecoming so special is how it showcases the connection between our schools and students and the community as a whole,” said Superintendent of Schools Frederick F. Foresteire. “The parade and all of the related events are truly the result of a cooperative citywide effort.”
As is tradition, Homecoming Day begins with a breakfast hosted by the Everett High School (EHS) Parent Teacher Organization from 8 to 11 a.m. in the EHS cafeteria. The all-you-can-eat breakfast includes pancakes, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, muffins, bagels, juice and coffee. Tickets are $5 per person and available at the door. Proceeds benefit the PTO. Guests are encouraged to drive to the main entrance of the high school, and handicap parking is available.
In addition, the annual “Homecoming Hustle” will be held at 9 a.m. The 5K run is sponsored entirely by Schnitzer Steel, and all proceeds benefit Friends Fighting Breast Cancer, an organization made up entirely of EPS personnel. Participants should report to the Everett Recreation Center at 7:30 a.m. to register. The race will begin on Elm Street. The registration fee is $15 in advance, $20 the day of the race. The route takes runners and walkers from Elm Street to Ferry Street, Glendale Square, Broadway, Fuller Street, Washington Avenue and back to Glendale Park on Elm Street.
The “Homecoming Hustle” is held in memory of Janet Connolly O’Neill, former assistant principal of the Webster School, and Anthony M. Malione and Peter J. Dolan, former assistant superintendents.
Pre-parade events will also include a special dedication at 11 a.m. in the Everett High School Main Office, where a photo and plaque of the late Edward Leo will be unveiled in front of family, friends, and colleagues. Mr. Leo is an EHS graduate and a former Crimson Tide football standout who captained the 1947 team. He went on to have a long and distinguished career as a teacher, Assistant Principal, and Principal at EHS.
The day wraps inside historic Veterans Memorial Stadium, where the Crimson Tide will take on St. John’s Prep in a much-anticipated nonleague game between the No. 2 and No. 10 teams in the ESPN/Boston MIAA Top 25. Everett is coming off of a dominating win over New Bedford, while St. John’s Prep is 1-1 following a 21-14 loss to No. 4 Central Catholic.