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Community parade set for Saturday: Event encourages community pride, support of veterans
This year's Frisco Community Parade, scheduled for Saturday at 11 a.m., is expected to draw anywhere from 6,000 to 8,000 attendees. Photo courtesy of the city of Frisco.
When Frisco was just a one-high school town, it held an annual parade for Frisco High School's homecoming game.
Now, with six high schools, having a homecoming parade for each high school within the city simply isn't feasible. Instead, the city now celebrates all its high schools -- and the entire city itself -- with one community parade.
This year's parade, scheduled to begin 11 a.m. Saturday at FC Dallas Stadium, has a "welcome home" theme. That theme was chosen for two reasons: for Frisco residents who come home to see the parade, and for military veterans coming home.
One of those veterans is U.S. Army Reserve Capt. Tim Nelson, a member of the Frisco City Council who recently returned from service in Afghanistan.
Nelson, who was deployed in November 2011, will serve as co-grand marshal of the parade with Sgt. Carlos Liscano, a Vietnam War veteran and longtime Frisco resident. Frisco Mayor Maher Maso said Nelson's return coincides with one of the main features of the parade, honoring military service.
"The parade's always had a military aspect -- it's important for us to honor our veterans," he said. "The parade wasn't set up around Veterans Day, that's just when it happened to be, but veterans are a very important part of our community."
Buddy Minett, a member of the parade committee, added that the city's veterans have long been an integral part of the parade.
"The city's veterans really get involved in this event, and sometimes we even get entries from active duty personnel" said Minett, who's helped with the parade for about 20 years. "With the event being so close to Veterans Day, we think it's important to honor our servicemen and servicewomen."
The parade, which is expected to last about an hour and 30 minutes, is primarily a way for the community to celebrate the city's schools, however.
All six of Frisco's public high schools -- as well as its sole private high school -- will have entries in the parade. Some entries will also come from the football teams, bands, drill teams and other secondary schools.
"The parade was originally a homecoming parade for Frisco High School, but once we had a new class with Centennial High School we could no longer have just one homecoming parade," Minett said. "The high schools still have their own homecoming celebrations, but this is an opportunity for all of them to celebrate the community at one time."
Minett expects 6,000 to 8,000 people to attend the parade depending on the weather, which is expected to be in the low 70s and slightly cloudy when the parade begins.
In addition to the involvement from the city's schools and veterans, about 35 businesses will be involved in the parade, along with nonprofits such as churches and youth groups. Maso said the diversity of the parade's participants is something that helps the community.
"The parade's an annual tradition that brings everyone out -- businesses, the kids, the schools," he said. "It's just a way for the community to stay together."
Besides planning the parade, the parade committee also has another important role: providing three scholarships -- a superintendent's award, a mayor's award and a grand marshal's award -- to the Frisco Education Foundation.
For Minett, the spirit of the original Frisco High School homecoming parade still exists, just in a form that's welcoming to the entire community.
"We really hope everybody comes out and shows their support for the community and all the schools we have within it," he said. "We hold this parade after the final regular-season game of the football season for all the schools so everyone can be involved, which is what we want."
For more information about the 2012 Frisco Community Parade, click here.
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