This years student organizers taking inclusive approach and adapting traditions to fit new restrictions

Homecoming activities at Newberg High School promise to be a bit different this year as restrictions regarding the new artificial turf and track surface at Loran Douglas Field have forced student organizers to find creative solutions.

One of the signature traditions of homecoming — the parade of floats and members of the homecoming court — will not continue as cars will no longer be allowed to drive on the track or field as part of the halftime entertainment.

But members of the Associated Student Body (ASB) have embraced the challenge and hope their plans to adapt the event, which will coincide with the Oct. 16 home football game versus Forest Grove, will help establish new traditions moving forward.

“I’m highly excited about this group,” new NHS activities director Judy Brown said. “These kids have already worked so much to create what they have. They’re putting down a foundation, starting strong.”

The parade has been moved up to 5 p.m. and will take a loop, from the north parking lot, around the block to finish at the south parking lot off Elliott Street near Loran Douglas Field. Other specific changes include using golf carts donated from Chehalem Glenn Golf Course to ferry the homecoming court in front of the stands and to the field for the coronation, but ASB representatives believe they are taking a new approach to the entire event.

The students want to include the greater community, especially previous generations of alumni, which is why they’ve chosen “Newberg over the years” as a theme. Alumni are invited to participate in the parade and the halftime show, which will feature a performance by the NHS dance team and a joint performance by the cheerleading squad and its alumni.

The student organizers also intend to organize the event according to class, as opposed to small school, but senior Marthadina Russell said then when it comes to the parade, that may have to wait until next year. She and other members of the parade committee have invited every club or organized group to build a float and has been pleased with the response.

“We have to have the parade before the game, which is kind of an inconvenience, but it’s something we’re trying to work with,” Russell said. “We’re just trying to get more people involved, so the clubs are just signing on if they want to and anyone that wants to be a part of the parade can be.”

The ASB has been working hand in hand with Brown since the summer and has embraced the challenge of moving away from long-held traditions.

“She has this great energy and people are really thriving off of it. She’s very much a delegator,” senior Ercoli Crugnale said. “If something’s not getting done, she will make sure it gets done and she doesn’t mind rolling over some toes if things need to be done. That’s a great quality to have because we, as an ASB, sort of tend to come up with ideas and talk for too long.”

Brown’s hope has been to empower her students to use their own gifts and talents to help create school spirit and has also been a huge source of support when encountering resistance.

“It’s a work in progress,” Russell said. “As this new tradition gets going, I’m sure it will get even better.”

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