West Allis - For the first time in many years, West Allis Central High School will have a Homecoming parade.
The parade's revival drew an enthusiastic response from the students who are now busily working on their floats at the homes of parent volunteers, said Central Principal Amy Van Deuren.
Each class will design and build its own float, so there will be at least four floats in the parade that is slated to start at roughly 3:45 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 23. The parade will begin at Irving Elementary School, 10230 W. Grant St., and proceed the two miles to the West Allis sports complex at Nathan Hale High School at 116th Street and Lincoln Avenue.
The parade route has not been announced. It was originally thought it could take Lincoln Avenue, but officials decided it would tie up that major thoroughfare for too long, Van Deuren said.
Besides the class floats, "We may have one or two other surprises," she said.
The return of the Homecoming parade had nothing to do with the school district clamping down on school transfers so that students who live near Central have to attend Central, Van Deuren said. Until this fall, students could pick which high school they wanted to attend and many had wanted Hale.
Nathan Hale has had a Homecoming parade for many years, while Central has not.
However, Van Deuren said, "This is entirely internally driven."
The faculty said it was time for the parade's return and the West Allis Central Booster Club enthusiastically agreed, she said.
"They think it's an amazing idea," said Jess Keyes, club president and president of the Central Parent, Teacher, Student Association.
She paid tribute to several sponsors that donated money toward supplies and advertising for the parade. They include the Community Alliance Against Drugs, CrossPoint Church, the Wedding Center, B&K Supplies and West Allis Dental Care.
The Homecoming game will be at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23, against Menomonee Falls.