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Here's a school parade that was dreamed up by a student, and put on by students and parents!

DAVID F. ASHTON - The Lewis Community Pride Parade stepped off into the Woodstock neighborhood on June 5th. The sound of syncopated drummers echoed through the Woodstock neighborhood on Saturday morning, June 5. It was coming from Meriwether Lewis Elementary School, and announced the first parade – albeit an unofficial one – since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A large group was gathering in the school's parking lot, getting ready for a "sidewalk parade" into downtown Woodstock, which was scheduled to step off at 10:30 a.m. that morning

"We're calling it our 'Lewis Community Pride Parade'," said organizer Jen Steffan, who observed that this was not an official school or PTA function, but instead simply a community event.

"The idea came about from talking with my son, Blue Steffan, a third grade student at Lewis Elementary, about what a hard year it had been; and, instead of protesting, we could use something fun for a change – like holding a community parade!" said Steffan enthusiastically.

"Since it seems like all 'Pride events' this June are virtual, due to COVID, we came up with the idea to have our own smaller, COVID-conscious 'Pride Parade' – because the Lewis community is a very diverse and inclusive community," Steffan told THE BEE. "Many friends of Blue's identify as LGBT and/or are gender non-binary; we want them to feel not only accepted – which we/they are; very much so – but also celebrated!"

DAVID F. ASHTON - Members of Westmorelands Bloco Alegria Samba Band smiled for THE BEE before leading the Lewis Community Pride Parade on their sidewalk parade north to Woodstock Boulevard, and then back to Lewis School. The drummers from the Westmoreland-based "Bloco Alegria Samba Band" struck up a marching rhythm, signaling the start of the parade which then proceeded along the sidewalks from the school northward to S.E. Woodstock Boulevard, and back.

Neighbors had fun at this community-led parade, as shown in this brief BEE video!

youtu.be/VswSeSLC-T0


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