On a beautiful Saturday afternoon, New Hyde Park Memorial High School held its annual homecoming parade and football game, drawing hundreds in the community to celebrate.
The Gladiators lost to the Mepham Pirates 20-14. But the crowd’s spirits remained high, buoyed by the half-time entertainment and crowning of the homecoming king and queen.
“This is a great tradition for us. It’s wonderful weather and it’ll be a wonderful day,” NHP Memorial Principal Richard Faccio said.
The parade stepped off at noon, traveling down Lakeville Road to Jericho Turnpike, east to New Hyde Park Road, turning on Evergreen Avenue and concluding at the high school field.
The New Hyde Park Memorial marching band led the parade, which featured elaborate floats designed by the students, cheerleaders and classic cars with homecoming queen contestants waving to the passing crowds. Fire trucks were also supplied by the New Hyde Park Fire Department.
Tim Foley and Nicole Bracco were crowned as the 2012 homecoming king and queen. Faccio and the 2011 homecoming king and queen, Liam O’Connor and Taylor Kerrane, presented them with the honorable titles as they received a roaring applause from the crowd.
Half-time entertainment featured the New Hyde Park Memorial twirlers, marching band, toy soldier Rockin’ Romanettes, the step team and varsity cheerleaders. Each group contributed to the performance of a medley of tunes celebrating the culture of New York.
Awards for floats included best overall junior float to the class of 2016, and best overall senior float to the class of 2015.
Joined by Superintendent of Schools Ralph Ferrie, Trustee David Del Santo, Trustee Joan Romagnoli and Trustee Frank Miranda, the homecoming also welcomed the return of former long-time principal Michael DeMartino.
“This feels like coming back home. It’s a very special day. Our community looks forward to it very much,” DeMartino said.
Nassau County Legislator Richard Nicolello, and state Assemblyman Edward Ra also attended the homecoming, and participated in the awards ceremony for the student-designed floats.
“It’s great to see such a big turn out for the homecoming,” said Nicolello a New Hyde Park Memorial alumnus. “It’s very similar to how I remember my homecomings. Many traditions can fall by the way side, and i’m happy this hasn’t.”