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B-U Homecoming Parade moving out of city limits

HODGESVILLE — The Buckhannon-Upshur High School Homecoming Parade is moving out of the city limits and may be concentrated in the area before and leading up to the high school on Route 20. Student council advisor Michael Wilson told Upshur County Board of Education members Tuesday night that the plans to have the usual parade route on Main Street were scrapped since last week and the City of Buckhannon had been notified that the student council was brainstorming alternative plans.

Wilson said the plan was being discussed with Dr. Joseph Reed, medical director at Upshur-Buckhannon Health Department, who had given is support for the outside events surrounding the parade and the pep rally.

The plan now is to have the parade and pep rally on Tuesday, Oct. 20 due to the B-UHS soccer teams possibly having to play on Wednesday, Oct. 21 and to limit it to the Homecoming Court who will line up in their cars at Tractor Supply.

“We are proposing that the cars of the court members will line up there and the members of the families – the people on the court – would be on that route between Tractor Supply and Stoney Run only,” he said. “That would be the boundaries and a safer area for them to watch.”

Tentatively, the B-UHS band will be at the State Police Barracks and will march up to the Freal “Red” Crites Memorial Stadium for the pep rally.

However, the band members will only be allowed to play inside the stadium and not while marching, according to Wilson.

Fall sports teams will not be in the parade but will be waiting and socially distancing in the soccer practice field area and then will go into the stadium for the pep rally.

Only students will be allowed inside the stadium for the pep rally.

The band will do their halftime show on the field and the cheerleaders will perform.

“I have put this proposal to Dr. Reed and Dr. [Sara] Stankus was in on this too, and he has given us support,” Wilson said. “We felt this would be safer.”

Everyone will wear masks and follow socially distancing guidelines.

Board president Dr. Tammy Samples asked if band parents would be permitted to see their students perform.

Wilson said the event may be live streamed.

Coronation is still slated for Wednesday, Oct. 21 without the student body. Only parents will be permitted.

Student council hopes to have a Saturday Homecoming Dance and are looking at two dances – one for ninth and 10th graders and one for juniors and seniors. Masks and all social distancing protocols would need to be followed. Ninth and 10th-graders would have their dance from 7 to 8:55 p.m. and exit the back door of the school. Juniors and seniors would then have their dance from 9 to 11 p.m.

This plan is still in the works and has not been shared with the Upshur-Buckhannon Health Department for approval yet

Samples questioned how students who may be dating someone in a different grade would feel if they could not take their significant other to their dance.

“Regardless of what grade they are in, they are socializing with their other half,” she said. “I just think it feels like a punishment. They are not going to go if they can’t go with their boyfriend or girlfriend.”

Wilson said he came up with the ninth and 10th and junior and senior split based on the way students normally socialize.

“We have talked about exceptions,” he said.

Samples said, “I just want us to continue exploring that. It’s a big deal to kids.”

Wilson said the tickets will be presold and will let student council know of the numbers to attend for the dances.

Board vice president Katie Loudin referenced indoor crowd limits.

“I just have questions about us being able to do it at all,” she said.

Another update will be provided at the next board of education meeting, Oct. 13 at 6 p.m. at Washington District Elementary.

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