Denison Independent School District engaged the community’s spirit at their annual Homecoming parade Thursday leading up to Friday’s game. The parade route began on Main Street and traveled east before taking a left and returning west on Woodard.

Homecoming court nominees waived from a variety of classic cars, trucks and other vehicles. The marching band and flag core performed as they made their way down the street. Students, parent and community members lined Main Street to cheer on the procession.

Downtown Denison store owners were out in force for the event. Part of the Hangin’ T clothing and sign shop family Connie Prost said the family owned store was out to support the community.

“Our kids graduated high school here,” Prost said. “I graduated high school here. My little grandbabies are living here and they’re going to go through the school system. We love small town USA. We don’t want to go anywhere else.”

The Hangin’ T created the graphics for the Yellow Jackets-themed Hope concrete truck that concluded the parade. Hope employee Stephen Snider explained the company decided it was finally time to add a Denison-themed truck to the fleet.

“We’ve had a Sherman Bearcat truck for a number of years,” Snider said. “The owner of the company lives in Sherman. My dad works for the company also and I work for him. We’ve been on him for a while now about getting a Denison one. He’s from Wichita Falls so he doesn’t really understand the whole rivalry thing. Finally, this year he decided to do a Denison truck.”

Wrapped in black and yellow and covered in yellow jacket graphics, the truck was greeted with shouts and cheers in its first major appearance. Prior to the parade, the truck had made only one other appearance.

Community members and store owners from the downtown area were out to support the Yellow Jackets even if they didn’t have students of their own currently enrolled. Vintage Mercantile owner Kathy Pryor a former Denison ISD nurse said the parade was emotional for her.

“They are our future, and we have to support them,” Pryor said. “As the kids went passed, there were so many memories of them in elementary school or in middle school. And now they’re high schoolers and they’re growing up. They smiled and waved and weren’t ashamed to wave at the old school nurse. They know I love them and am proud of them. That’s what’s so neat about a small town you get to see that.”