Spirit on parade in Libertyville
The senior float rolls by during the annual homecoming parade for Libertyville High School Saturday morning. | Joe Cyganowski~ For Sun-Times Media
Updated: September 24, 2012 8:37PM
LIBERTYVILLE — A sea of bystanders bundled in orange and black spirit gear came out for the 2012 Homecoming parade in Libertyville on a cold, breezy Saturday morning.
Wildcat fans lined Milwaukee Avenue in downtown Libertyville in front of local business windows artistically spattered with LHS pride.
The musical styling of the LHS Marching Band floated over the crowd, whose members waved emphatically at parade participants.
In attendance was Class of ’75 Libertyville High School alum Cheri Tropple, formerly Cheri Kuester, bundled in her LHS Wildcat jacket and gloves. Tropple was there to support her son, Dan, a senior at LHS and member of the varsity football team.
“I’ve lived here my whole life,” said Tropple. “We really love this town and the parade always has fun floats and the band is really great.”
Amongst the floats was the costume-clad student organization Stageplayers and the Mercy For Animals organization brought along some of their four-legged friends to walk with them. Floats were constructed for each of the high school’s four classes as well as for their sports teams and clubs.
Some groups gave out fresh mums to parade spectators and handfuls of candy flew overhead as eager children scrambled to claim their loot.
Libertyville resident Jody Deacetis was out with her two boys and husband, Bill, to see their daughter walking with the Highland Middle School Band. Deacetis’ children are not yet at the high school level, but will enter the hallways of LHS as soon as next year.
Deacetis said her kids love coming to the parade for the candy, and they really liked the Young Life entry, a painted Chicago Bears-inspired school bus.
Tropple, a member of the Wildcat Football Parents Association, decorated the lockers of the LHS football players for Homecoming week along with other members of the group.
Class of ’04 alum Abbie Rose had just missed the tail end of the parade as she was dragged down the sidewalk by her golden retriever. Rose offered up hellos to fellow alums she passed on the street.
“In a small town, everyone knows everyone and you tend to always end up having a little reunion just walking down the street,” said Rose.
In tow with Rose was class of ’03 alum Mike O’Connor, who reminisced about his days on the football team. O’Connor recalls participating in the parade on the Football float and then going directly to the play in the Homecoming game that afternoon and then going to the dance that evening.
“It used to be all in one day,” said O’Connor. “I remember the girls coming to the football game with curlers in their hair.”
The parade capped off a busy Homecoming week which included Thursday night’s Powder Puff game. Proceeds from the game benefited the WISH dinner for the needy Lake County.
A celebration also was in order after LHS’ Friday night football win over Mundelein with a final score of 40-8. The halftime show consisted of a choreographed dance performed by faculty members in tie-dyed attire and the crowd also was treated to fireworks.
The festivities culminated Saturday evening with the Homecoming Dance held at the high school’s main gym. Attendance was up from 2011, with ticket sales of an additional 300 to 400 students.
Student Council Treasurer Michael Esposito credited the spike in sales with the push for school spirit and the fact that Chicago radio station B96 DJed the event.
“We really tried to get the school spirit up this year,” said Esposito. “This dance would not have been so successful without the hard work of the student council members and the support of the students, faculty and community.”
Games were introduced during school lunch hours to get students involved and Student Council did their version of Jay Leno’s show shtick “Jaywalking” by hitting the hallways to ask students and faculty trivia questions in line with the 2012 theme of Disney.