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Seniors celebrated their return to school by blowing bubbles, streaming Silly String, popping balloons and calling from kazoos during the traditional first-day parade at Fike High School Monday morning.
“I figured it’s our last year here. We might as well start with a party,” said senior Thomas Meade.
Mead was among 75 students riding in decorated vehicles including bicycles, scooters, classic cars and trucks tugging floats.
“It’s exciting. It’s our senior year,” said senior Mary Lynn Garriss. “We’ve got to live it up.”
Mary Lynn and fellow senior Landen Sauls shared an old tandem bike.
“We kind of struggled a bit at first with the bike, but we’ve gotten it good now,” Landen said. “We had to practice to be able to control it and turn it. We decorated it with balloons because our theme is ‘Up,’ from the movie, so we decorated it with balloons to represent that.”
Senior Charley Thompson had seen the parade before as an underclassman but on Monday got to actually participate.
“The majority of us got senior T-shirts,” Charley said.
Charley was ready to start the new year.
“I think it will go by very fast and we are going to not wish it went by so fast at the end of the year, but now I think we are ready to get it going,” Charley said.
Senior Carolyn McCarthy had also been eagerly anticipating doing the parade and the start of school.
“In my freshman year, my brother was a senior and they did stuff like this, and I have been looking forward to it ever since,” she said.
Carolyn and her friends put together a float where they stood and sprayed onlookers and themselves with Silly String.
“I love it,” Carolyn said. “We’re just here to have fun for our senior year of high school; I think it will go pretty well.”
Her mother, Bryant McCarthy, was along the parade route with other parents to capture the event in photos on cell phones.
“They were all at my house last night, some of the night, decorating the float and having a great time. They had balloons on it, streamers. They are all ready,” McCarthy said.
The senior parade on the first day of school has been a tradition for many years at Fike.
“The kids all have fun,” McCarthy said. “They get together. They reminisce, old times, new times and are enjoying their time together, so they want to start it off with a bang. These are all great kids, and they are all achievers and will succeed in life, and it’s a way of bringing them together and starting it off with a great year.”
Parent Sherry Hodges was there to see daughter Abby Hodges and her friends.
“It’s just a grand way to start the year,” Hodges said. “It makes them feel so special, and they are so excited when they come around here. I have had two, and this is my third and my last.”
Some 12,300 students at 24 Wilson County Schools started the 2017-18 school year Monday.
According to Amber Lynch, WCS public relations manager, there were no major issues on the first day “just your typical first day issues as far as tweaking bus routes, enrolling students and getting schedules straightened out.”
Lane Mills, WCS superintendent, spent the whole day in the schools and said it is great to see all of the smiling faces.
“There is a positive energy in our classrooms and I know we are going to accomplish great things this year,” Mills said.