Community floods streets of downtown Joplin for first homecoming parade since 1981

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A once long-standing Joplin High School tradition returns after nearly 40 years.

“I enjoy seeing the players and the floats they have decorated,” explained Joplin middle schooler Emmalyn Willet.

Earlier Wednesday, Joplin High School students were getting ready for their homecoming parade. Decorating 35 floats and hanging out with classmates, students and staff are grateful the parade is back after its absence since 1981.

“I don’t think there was a reason — it’s just a huge task to bring on, I’m finding that out now,” explained JHS Student Body Presdient Faron Haase. “It’s a big responsibility and I don’t think people wanted to fill those shoes, so I think it just ended.”

With the help of administration, sponsors, and student council members, Haase was able to foster community relationships between local businesses and schools, while bringing the homecoming parade idea back to life.

“They were all very excited because there hasn’t been a whole lot of new things that Student Council has done and my goal this year was to involve our community within our school a lot more, more than we ever have been before,” Haase continued.

And students, parents, and community members are joining in on the homecoming fun.

“I’ve heard nothing but good things about it,” Haase added. “We just got our homecoming shirts in and I’ve had parents and business members ask me if they can buy homecoming shirts and sometimes, the students don’t even want to buy them.”

One Joplin High School graduate says it’s nice to have these parades back in town. Especially since her class held the last parade, and now her daughters are in this one.

“I graduated in ’81 and it was Parkwood at that time and my daughters are freshman this year, so it’s really neat,” explained Cindy Mascher-Henry.

Haase hopes underclassmen student council members will carry on this tradition of the homecoming parade. Hundreds of people lined downtown Joplin for the parade and all seemed happy to have this community-wide celebration back.

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