HARLINGEN – A young man on the FFA float tossed candy into the air as he passed onlookers.
Children on the curb watched with fascinated eyes as the candy landed with a soft patter on the street.
A tiny little girl in braids eagerly ran alongside her mother and older brother to pick up as many pieces as she could, placing them in her purple jack-o-lantern.
It was the homecoming parade for the Harlingen High School South Pep Rally. Everyone was psyched last night as they spoke about the game against Los Fresnos High School.
“This week we have been practicing hard, more effectively,” said Brandon Villarreal, the team’s quarterback.
He and the other varsity football team had already taken their places on the trailer they’d ride down Dixieland Road. Other student groups, the Speech, Drama and Debate Team, the Boys and Girls Cross Country Team, were also preparing their floats for the parade.
“I feel very excited,” said Yasmin Gloria, 15, a member of the cross country team.
“This is my second year to do this,” she said. Last year they didn’t have as much supplies with which to decorate their float, which was basically a flat trailer with an orange metal structure. The yellow streamers made it clear they’d found a way to obtain more supplies.
Hector Martinez, another cross-country runner, was also happy to see the float decorated better.
“We are the best school,” said Hector, 15. “That’s why I am at this school. I’ve been here two years. Before that I was in San Benito.”
The students showed a great deal of enthusiasm as they moved down Dixieland Road toward the field and the pep rally.
The little girl with the purple bucket eagerly grabbed candy with her tiny hands while her mother, Roxanna Moore, guided her.
“We love it,” said Moore, who teaches chemistry at Harlingen South. She was also keeping a close eye on her son who carried a blue bucket.
Moore liked seeing her students in the parade.
“It’s a joy to see them in their extracurricular activities,” she said. “It’s outstanding. They have been coming through.”
Lisa Blanco was still psyched about seeing her daughter Kayla Williams march by with her ROTC group.
“It’s very exciting,” she said. “She was smiling.”
“We give her support,” said Kayla’s stepfather, Ernie Blanco.
“She sees that, she likes that,” he said. “It’s good to give support to the kids.”
The parade continued down the street and stopped at the field where a huge “S” had been placed. More music, and the performance of the cheerleaders charged everyone’s passion for tomorrow’s game. Soon, in the dwindling light, flame quickly consumed the S, lighting up the darkness and the school’s spirit.