Even the weather embraced the spirit of Oak Harbor High School Homecoming as the rain let up just long enough for the community parade and pep rally on Pioneer Way Thursday evening.
Family, friends and downtown shop owners turned out to watch the district-wide parade march down Pioneer Way. High school clubs, class representatives, the color guard and band showed their school spirit, intermixed with groups from Broad View Elementary, Oak Harbor Middle, Oak Harbor Elementary, Hillcrest Elementary and more. Following the high school cheerleaders and football team, Homecoming royalty waved from cars lent by Whidbey Cruzers.
Marti Malloy, Olympic Games bronze medalist for judo and Oak Harbor High School grad, waved to the excited crowd during the parade and took the stage during a pep rally at the end of the parade.
“I went to school the same place as all you kids and I had big dreams,” Malloy said to a cheering crowd, adding that hard work and this supportive community can help anyone accomplish their goals.
After the high school band and choir led the crowd in the high school fight song, the crowd exploded in cheers for the football team, which faced Marysville-Pilchuck at the Homecoming game Friday night as both teams fought for first place.
As the cheerleaders led the crowd in a few cheers, the excitement for Homecoming ramped up, lighting up downtown into the evening as students manned vendor booths and shops and restaurants stayed open late to celebrate the students.