The band played, the sirens blared and the students chanted as they marched down the street Saturday during the first ever homecoming parade in the history of the Plainedge School District.
"The school is interested in raising school spirit and building a sense of community," said Alice Mateos, public information representative for the school district. This was the reason behind holding the homecoming events.
"We have been planning for weeks. If this year is successful, we will begin planning in the spring for next year's festivities," said Mateos.
The parade was led by the Red Devil, Scott Rosenblum. The marching band, cheerleaders, kickline and students were only some of the participants in the parade that followed.
"Preparation started actually a year ago for the students when we started talking to the principal and administration about having a homecoming," said senior Lisa Johnson. "I am glad that it happened while I was still in school. It would be upsetting if it happened next year and I did not get to participate."
The entire community was encouraged to attend the weekend's events. "The school board, bus drivers, athletic department and teams, all class officers, the band, the homecoming court, parents and faculty all participated in the parade as well as the planning," said Mateos.
"It is exciting (to participate in the first homecoming parade) because it is good to see everyone's school spirit," said Grace Yoon, a sophomore band member.
"This homecoming will hopefully lift school spirit," said junior Alex Staaik, "and more people will want to get involved."
The four and one Red Devil football team defeated the Sewanhaka Indians by a score of 22 to 14 on Edward Byrne Memorial Field. During the half time break, Jason Lisagorsky and Kim Lovering were named the first homecoming king and queen.
Those in charge hope to make this an annual event and encourage alumni to attend in the future.
"I plan on coming back next year," said Johnson. "I'll miss my friends and want to come and see them."
In the past, Plainedge held a "homecoming" the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving. "Alumni were invited back for a dance with the senior class," said Mateos. "It is unknown if that will still take place this year."
This year's turnout was a success, and even bigger crowds are anticipated as the years go and word spreads throughout the community about the excitement of homecoming.