Homecoming parade finds new home


Beth Ryan Collection/Lake Oswego Public Library

LOHS students ride on a fire truck during the 1964 homecoming parade

Clare Christensen, Opinions Editor

Volume 71, Issue 1

October 3, 2022

The homecoming parade has been moved from its original location on A Avenue to last year’s location across Country Club Road for indefinite years to come. This change is due to concerns over safety as well as optimal student attendance.

The Homecoming parade at LOHS has been held on A Avenue since the school’s opening in 1951. Last school year, a lack of buses to and from Downtown Lake Oswego caused the homecoming parade to be switched from Downtown to instead start at Lake Oswego Junior High, travel across Country Club and eventually go around the school and end on the track. Because of this, instead of being let out of school early, students were put on an assembly schedule.

 “In my 16 years as a police officer here in Lake Oswego, it was, in my perspective, one of the most well-attended homecoming parades, at both Lakeridge and Lake Oswego. Not just from a student standpoint because you guys were in an assembly schedule, but also from a parent standpoint,” LOHS’  Student Resource Officer, Officer Brian Sheldon said. In the past, not all students were able to attend the parade because they would not be able to find transportation to Downtown LO. 

Principal Colyer said, “When we think about the District having an equity lens, and how we can make things accessible to all of our students. This made it one of those things, by having that assembly schedule, it allows for all students to participate.”

Students, though, are concerned that moving the parade from downtown is a violation of LOHS tradition. Senior, Jordan Woolf says “Honestly I’m a little irritated that due to recent changes we would have to pay for the parade. I’ve always thought that it was a great tradition to go to Downtown LO and to make homecoming not just a school thing but to also share that with the whole community.” 

Lake Oswego band marching in 1964 homecoming parade on A Avenue (Beth Ryan Collection/Lake Oswego Public Library)

Another concern involved with holding the parade downtown is the partnership with the city in shutting down A-avenue. The city is considering “the amount of time and effort it takes into planning operations, planning logistics, and everything like that. Not just planning for when the parade is going to start and how many people are going to be involved, but what streets are going to be closed and when and how that’s going to affect not just everyday traffic but TriMet and emergency traffic” Sheldon says. 

The logistics and money involved in flaggers and traffic cones and other operational necessities interfere with the budget of the school, making the location switch not only a choice based on equity but also on finance. The payment that was required to ensure safety and security for the parade from the city of Lake Oswego was around $10,000 to host the parade on A avenue.  

The last aspect of the parade considered by the school district, police department and city, is the safety of doing a parade off of the school campus. In order to ensure the safety of the parade and decrease the chances of a shooting occurring, an on-campus parade was the choice the district made. 

Sheldon added, “Looking at the big picture, it was in the best interest of this school year to do what we did last year, just because there wasn’t a budget to accommodate $10,000 for a parade that’s going to last 20 minutes, and not include the entire student body, or at least give everyone the opportunity to be included. I guess the two biggest reasons were it’s a financial issue and a security issue and including everybody.”