The 2019 Herndon Homecoming Parade, themed “Into the Future,” kicked off Saturday morning, Oct. 19. More than 1,500 participants in 66 units participated in the parade, according to a town spokesperson. Participants started at Herndon Middle School on Locust Street and marched down Elden Street to the Town Hall Square.
Herndon High School Principal Liz Noto, Mayor Lisa Merkel, Vice Mayor Sheila Olem and Councilmembers Jennifer Baker, Cesar del Aguila, Pradip Dhakal, and Bill McKenna presided over the parade.
A long-time Herndon tradition filled with school spirit and neighborly camaraderie, friends and residents knew what to do. They lined the sidewalks of Elden Street with folding chairs, wool blankets and brought along snacks and drinks. Children brought bags to catch the tossed candies. Other viewers gathered at porch parties. All came to celebrate and support everything Herndon High – the Herndon Band: The Pride of Herndon, members of Homecoming Court, class floats, and more in preparation for the 1 p.m. football game against McLean High School.
Seated in his lawn chair on Elden Street, Erik Althoff, HHS Class of '99, recalled that he marched in three parades. "This ain't my first rodeo," he said. Melissa Gischeidle, a Herndon Elementary School teacher, yelled, “Go, Herndon.”
"I love coming to the parade and seeing the marching band," she said. School highlights included the Latin Dance Team and Navy Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps.
What set the 2019 Herndon Homecoming Parade apart from other parades appeared to the welcoming spirit of organizers, allowing private citizens and community groups to formally march in the parade, and shine a spotlight on their passions. Among the many-featured units was Model Nepali Society, U.S.A.; Into the future with Opportunity Neighborhoods, Cornerstones; Herndon Village Network and Clearview Elementary School.
Elizabeth Vosseller watched the parade go by, removed her sunglasses and wiped tears from her eyes. Not usually given to emotion, Vosseller grinned and said,
"It makes me cry because I live here, in this dorky little town. And I love it."
During the afternoon's Homecoming football game, the McLean High School Highlanders defeated the Herndon High School Hornets 41 to 2.
Judges selected and awarded trophies to the First and Second Place winners in the Civic, Performing Arts, School, Show and Class Float categories and also chose the Richard F. Downer theme award and the Major Robert C. Church Best in Parade winners.
First Place – Cub Scout Pack #157;
Second Place – Herndon Optimist Youth Sports
Performing Arts Group:
First Place – Herndon High School Step Team;
Second Place – Rhythm Street Dance Academy;
First Place – Herndon Elementary;
Second Place – Clearview Elementary
First Place – Madison Forest Drive Neighbors;
Second Place – Next Stop Theatre "Matilda"
First Place – Class of 2020;
Second Place – Herndon Middle School
Richard F. Downer Theme Award:
Herndon Woman's Club
Major Robert C. Church Award:
Best in Parade – Herndon High School Class of 2022