It is homecoming week in Owatonna, and students and staff alike are getting in the Husky spirit. There has been much anticipation throughout the school for the return of homecoming festivities, which were largely put on hold in 2020 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

One thing, however, that will look drastically different this year is the parade. While different education- or student-based organizations and groups will still be invited to participate in the parade, and the public will be welcome to flood the streets to watch, the route will altered.

Normally, the homecoming floats head through downtown on Cedar Avenue, but with the streetscape project in full-swing, the location has been moved down to the fairgrounds.The route will begin on the corner Elm Street and Park, continue down Elm and conclude at School Street.

The parade is scheduled to being at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 8.

The cross streets along the route will be blocked to accommodate the parade.

After the city of Owatonna decided last month to postpone construction on the 100 block of Cedar Avenue, there is no official completion date for the streetscape project. Officials are unsure at this time whether the homecoming parade will be returning downtown next year, or if this route will continue after the project is finished.

“The kid are just very excited to be able to have a parade in general this year,” Student Council Advisor Jon Miron said. “It brings back a sense of normalcy that has been lacking for the last year.”

Top priority for students and homecoming staff has been making the community aware of the change of the route, but many are embracing the change.

One community member even commented to Miron that they haven’t been able to see the parade before, but since they reside on Elm Street, being able to watch the floats glide by this weekend will a welcome treat and much more accessible.

Plenty of fun activities have been planned for students throughout the week centering on their theme of “Game On.”

Many students got together to play sand volleyball at Lava Burger on Monday. Tuesday evening they enjoyed a showing of Hocus Pocus at the OHS football field.

Students will be assembling their parade floats at the fairgrounds on Wednesday afternoon. Thursday, the students will team up for a game of Family Feud in the auditorium and the high school.

To wrap up the week, the parade will be on Friday afternoon. The football game against Rochester JM will begin at 7:00 p.m.

At the game the marching band, cheer team, and 2021 homecoming court will be performing for a half time show. Last week, Dylan Meiners and Jenna Dallenbach were crowned this year’s king and queen.

Finally, a homecoming dance at the middle school will end the festivities and the celebratory week for the students.

Reach reporter Emily Kahnke at 507-444-2376. ©Copyright 2021 APG Media of Southern Minnesota. All rights reserved.

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