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GBN homecoming parade spreads cheer down Cherry Lane


Glenbrook North drove the smell of school spirit at the annual Homecoming parade Friday, October 23.

Teachers and students were on hand to kickoff Homecoming weekend marching in the route, which began at Sunset Foods and traveled down Cherry Lane toward Western Avenue.

With traffic being redirected, the paraders became showstoppers that afternoon.

They took to the streets with their marching and following them, a number of floats cruised along. Paraders sailed candy through the air off and on, allowing the crowds lining the street to savor their school spirit.

None of this posed a concern to the residents and Spartan fans smiling, waving and cheering in admiration of the school they love.

Joan McGee, of Chicago, was snapping some photographs with her smartphone when she saw her granddaughter, Kelly Kogen, walking in the parade with fellow cheerleaders.

She said it was her first time seeing the GBN Homecoming parade so it meant a lot to her.

“It’s wonderful to see (Kelly) out there with all her friends,” McGee said.

She added that it’s amazing to see such strong participation among the paraders.

Alexa Weissman, 17, of Northbrook, was celebrating her last GBN Homecoming and said it’s exciting to be there.

“It’s really fun because everyone knows Homecoming is here and it gets everyone hyped up,” she said.

Residents and those traveling in and around the Village all knew Homecoming was here in part because many storefront windows were decorated by student organizations at GBN.

Kate Seno, 18, of Northbrook, was hailed as Homecoming Queen after winning the title at GBN’s pep rally that day.

She was fitted with a crown and making some adjustments to it while waiting for the parade to start.

“It’s kind of cool,” Seno said of being declared Homecoming Queen. “I didn’t expect it and I am happy about it.”

She added that it’s bittersweet being at her last Homecoming parade and seeing how spirited everyone is.

Sarah Guggemos, 16, of Northbrook, serves on GBN’s parade committee and when it comes to Homecoming festivities, she said she was excited.

“It instills a sense of school spirit and it’s a good way to start Homecoming weekend,” she said.

Those on hand for the parade were involved in student clubs and organizations, such as Spartan Buddies, debate, Future Educators of America, among others.

“It’s a fun way to get different clubs involved,” Guggemos said.

GBN hosts its Homecoming parade on an annual basis knowing many will line the streets to see the paraders.

Guggemos said the parade is kept lively and fresh year after year in part because bragging rights are at stake.

Freshman, sophomore, junior and senior classes at GBN had four days to build a float knowing their teachers will need to evaluate each one and vote.

Guggemos said when the final count is determined, the winner will own bragging rights.

This year’s Homecoming theme was “Sweet Home, Chicago” so all floats were designed with that concept in mind.

There was a float modeled after the boat that harbors the Chicago River, another that resembled the Chicago Bean, among others.

Colette Carroll, 17, of Northbrook, developed the idea behind the senior class board’s float and she was excited to showcase their float that day.

“We tried to make (the float) look like the Sears Tower,” she said, noting that she has never been into architecture. “Seeing it come to life was the best thing.”

She added that it was nice seeing the support of their teachers, Ms. Wool and Ms. Jordan.

“They weren’t just supervising,” she said, noting that they worked hard alongside the students. “You could tell the supervisors cared just as much as the kids.”

Taya Placik, 17, of Northbrook, felt the same the way as Carroll when it comes to the seeing the support of their teachers.

“It’s nice to see the teachers with their kids,” she said in recognizing many faces seen in the classroom now standing in the crowds.

Ken Spero, of Northbrook, was there in support of his daughter and taking photographs as the parade moved its way down Cherry Lane.

He said it means a lot to him seeing how spirited the school is year after year.

“It means GBN has continued to be a good school and they continue to show pride,” he said.

Marla Lampert, of Northbrook, was enjoying her time spent watching the paraders but she said it was a bittersweet feeling, as well.

“It’s sad because I have a senior and happy because I have a freshman who are part of the parade,” she said noting that for her family, it was a day of firsts and lasts.

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