By Karen Dudley Grissom
By Karen Dudley Grissom
Photos by Olivia Smith
Loveland, Oh. - Each year about this time hundreds of Loveland residents gather downtown along West Loveland Ave. This annual ritual means it’s time to get ready for some football. Ushering in the season was the annual Loveland High School (LHS) Homecoming Parade, presented by the Loveland Athletic Boosters.
The streets of Loveland were lined with parents carrying their cameras in hopes of snapping that perfect photo of their children as the floats carrying student athletes rounded the corner. Children holding bags inched closer and closer to the floats in hopes of getting candy as it was thrown towards them from the parade participants. It appeared as if Halloween had come early.
The parade is truly a community affair. It was led by the Loveland Police Department and followed by the vehicle carrying Grand Marshall Kevin Taylor, LHS assistant athletic director. Loveland City Schools
Superintendent Chad Hilliker followed on foot. Other representatives from the Loveland community include the Fire Department, Board of Education, City Council, Symmes Township Officials, the Homecoming King and Queen from 1993, this year’s homecoming nominees, as well as Loveland teachers and staff.
Parade attendee Bob, as he asked to be identified, shared that he and his wife attend every year. This year they had dinner at Paxton’s Grill before the parade began. Loveland residents since 1957, he, his wife and children are all LHS graduates. Two of his children played sports at Loveland. “It brings the community together,” he said. His favorite thing about the parade is “all the camaraderie. I do wish they’d bring back the float competition between the classes.”
The homecoming parade is not only good for the community spirit, but also for the downtown economy. “It’s fantastic,” said Robert Zins, owner of Julian’s Deli & Spirits, which is located in the heart of downtown Loveland on the bike trail. “I love it,” he continued. “It provides lots of exposure for these businesses. It gives us a shot in the arm, economically. I get goose bumps just seeing all these folks down here. This is cool.”
Zins explained how the foot traffic from the parade equates in dollars and cents. “It means between five and six o’clock, we did more business than we do during the normal three-hour lunch business.”