This year’s float theme was ‘Once Upon a Time: Tales, Stories, and Fables’

TEMPLETON — Templeton was out in full force, lining Main Street on Friday, Sept. 15, to celebrate Homecoming with Templeton High School. The town’s residents wore so much green, showing off their Eagles pride, that it almost looked like it could have been St. Patrick’s Day, and groups of kids lined the street and made their own cheers and chants to show their school spirit as everyone got ready for the parade to start. 

This year, the theme for the Homecoming floats was “Once Upon a Time: Tales, Stories, and Fables,” and boy did the students deliver. There were floats representing Princess and the Pea, Cinderella, Peter Pan, The Three Little Pigs, Wizard of Oz, Alice in Wonderland, Rapunzel, and King Midas and the Golden Touch. Ian McPhee and his son Max led the parade as the Grand Marshals.

2023 Templeton Homecoming Derek Luff4929
Photo by Derek Luff

“It’s been fun,” said Bonnie Loftus. “My daughter’s been … they’ve been building a float for a couple of weeks, and my husband brought them in a trailer for them to work on and get it all fixed up for, and the Freshman are really excited. They made a dance routine to go along with their float.” 

Most floats paused in front of Templeton Market and Deli to show off choreography and dances prepared by the kids who built them. That’s where the judge’s booth for the parade presentation and the float contest were positioned on the route. First place went to the Link Crew’s Wizard of Oz float, with second place going to the Sophomores’ Peter Pan float, and the Freshmen rounded out the top three with their King Midas and the Golden Touch float.

“It’s really cool that several of the clubs and student groups at the school get together and spend the week working on their floats,” said Templeton Unified School District Superintendant Aaron Asplund.

2023 Templeton Homecoming Derek Luff4847
Photo by Derek Luff

The parade also featured this year’s Homecoming Court to the crowd. The court was split into pairs and driven through town in the back of pickups to mass applause. This year’s Homecoming Court consisted of Wyatt Ashton, Taylor Sutton, Mary Higgins, Colter Tannehill, Addy Nixon, Luke Davis, River Waltmire, Sachiko Zemke, Dikinesh Boutain, JD Black, Patrick Giroux, Celia Cano, Mikayla Schad, and Cyrus Cook.

“It’s just a celebration of the small-town spirit and the families that you get in the Templeton community,” said Dianna Vonderheide, who also had a child in the parade. “It’s just super special that we get to celebrate like this. I think it’s unique to this community. I don’t know anywhere else locally where you can get together with your friends and family and celebrate the kids and all their hard work.”

The almost 2,000-plus students throughout the district were around to participate in cheering on the parade as well since the parade’s route passed by both the elementary and middle schools. Some parents even picked up their children from Vineyard Elementary just so they could see the parade, as it’s the only school not on the route. 

“It’s just a really wonderful fall tradition, obviously. Our community comes out in force, and that’s just who Templeton is,” Asplund said. “Everyone gathers for these really important community events. So much of our community centers around school things, and so it’s no surprise that our town comes out to support our kids when they do this cute little parade. We’ve been here 15 years, and it just seems to get better and better.”

And the fun didn’t stop there: The graduating class of 1973 celebrated their 50th reunion by riding in the Templeton Historical Museum’s 1934 Ford School Bus. And at the Homecoming Game on Saturday, Sept. 16, the Templeton Eagles dominated the West Vikings from Bakersfield with a 42-0 win. 

Go Eagles.

Photos by Derek Luff