Monday, July 7, 2008

"We Love A Parade:" The Douglass-Slater Parade in Bristol

Nothing gets school spirit pumped up better than a parade that celebrates the traditions of your old high school.

Folks in both Bristol, Tennessee and Bristol, Virginia got a reminder that the spirits of two wonderful schools no longer with us, are still alive and well.


As part of the 2008 Douglass-Slater Reunion, a parade of cars went from street to street, to remind everybody that although Douglass High School in Bristol, Virginia and Slater High School in Bristol, Tennessee are no longer with us, their competitive legacies live on.

The parade assembled in the parking lot at the old Slater High School, now the Slater Community Center. Parade participants decorated their vehicles with festive banners, colorful streamers, and helium balloons in the colors of Douglass High and Slater High. As they lined up, you could tell something wonderful was about to happen.

With its police escort and horns blaring, the parade left the Slater parking lot, and came down McDowell Street to Pennsylvania Avenue (U.S. 421). It then traversed several streets in Bristol, Tennessee before crossing the state line into Bristol, Virginia, headed towards the old Douglass High School on Oakview Avenue.

Residents along the route came outside to see what all the commotion was about, and were greeted by Douglass-Slater classmates in the parade, who quickly got the residents into the mood and spirit of the festivities.

As it came through downtown, the Douglass-Slater Parade ran head-on into the "Star Spangled Saturday" Celebration sponsored by the cities of Bristol, VA/TN at the Cumberland Square. The event had started at 10 AM Saturday, and was in full swing when the Douglass-Slater parade came through. No doubt, our Douglass-Slater folks with their decorated cars, honking horns and enthusiastic school spirit, provoked many stares and wonderments about what ELSE was going on in the town that Saturday!

Nonetheless, the school spirit kept up at a feverish pace, with horns blaring, people waving and yelling, and lights flashing, many observers could not help getting in on the fun, as the parade wound its way through the city streets, and back to the parking lot at Slater.

After the parade ended, folks stayed in the parking lot with the adrenaline still pumping. In fact, there were several reunitements with friends there, as many of the parade participants did not know that friends they hadn't seen yet, were in the parade, too. The excitement was overwhelming, and it was a good forecast of things to come.. the 2008 Reunion Banquet coming up later!

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