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story.lead_photo.caption Westside Eagle Observer/SUSAN HOLLAND Homecoming queen candidate Lizzy Ellis poses with her escorts Ethan Ellis and Cordell Donell during the 2020 homecoming parade Friday afternoon at Gravette High School. Ellis and other members of the homecoming court participated in the event.

GRAVETTE -- 2020 has been a year that's seen some unusual modifications in the routine at Gravette High School. The celebration of the annual football homecoming was no different. Due to Arkansas Health Department restrictions on large gatherings, it was not possible to hold the usual homecoming parade that wound its way through the heart of downtown.

Students at Gravette High School were not to be cheated out of a celebration, however. School officials planned a reverse parade in which the parade participants remained stationary and area residents were invited to drive their vehicles along the parade route. Members of school clubs, classes and teams set up booths along Lion Drive leading up to the high school and dressed up their displays with colorful decorations, balloons and posters. Many dressed in costumes carrying out their booth's theme.

Members of the high school marching band, under the direction of bandleader Aaron Ray, performed several musical numbers and played the school fight song on the grassy lawn in front of the school. The cheerleading squad got involved too, performing lively routines for passersby in the parade. Members of the homecoming court, three queen candidates, and maids from each high school class, with their escorts, were all on hand to greet the passing drivers.

The parade began at 2 p.m. and a long line of vehicles soon began winding its way up the hill. High School principal Shannon Mitchell and assistant principal Taos Jones joined the procession in the new GHS golf cart, waving to students as they passed and, finally, school buses carrying students from each campus were driven past the high school as they began the journey home.

It was a beautiful day for a parade, with temperatures in the mid-80s and a nice breeze. Everyone was in high spirits and obviously enjoying the unusual 2020 homecoming parade. Several photographers were seen wandering along the route and it's quite likely several photos will be preserved in photo albums and scrapbooks to preserve memories of the unique event.

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Westside Eagle Observer/SUSAN HOLLAND Members of the Gravette High School football team gather to watch the stream of vehicles passing by during the 2020 homecoming parade. The Lions met the Huntsville Eagles in football action that evening but unfortunately lost 28 - 26.
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Westside Eagle Observer/SUSAN HOLLAND Members of the Gravette High School Class of 2024 pose on the grassy slope along Lion Drive during the 2020 homecoming parade Friday. Pictured are freshmen Laney Brown, Audrey Lair, Brooklyn Parker and class sponsor Andrew Hall (back left).
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Westside Eagle Observer/SUSAN HOLLAND Freshmen maids Ella Moorman and Gabbi Bates pose beneath an archway of balloons during the 2020 homecoming parade Friday afternoon along Lion Drive. Moorman, Bates and other members of the homecoming court all participated in the unique event.
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Westside Eagle Observer/SUSAN HOLLAND Some members of the Gravette High School Class of 2023 try to adjust the decorations on their display Friday as the wind plays havoc with the "23" numbers during the 2020 homecoming parade. Their display featured a colorful balloon border.
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Westside Eagle Observer/SUSAN HOLLAND Junior maid Sara Satchel poses with her escort, senior Keegan Addison, at the homecoming parade Friday afternoon at Gravette High School. Satchel's booth was festively decorated with balloons in Gravette Lion colors of black and orange.
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Westside Eagle Observer/SUSAN HOLLAND Junior maid Kelsey Fletcher poses with her escort, senior Chase Fultz, during the 2020 homecoming parade Friday afternoon on Lion Drive at Gravette High School. Members of the homecoming court joined various classes and clubs at the event.
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Westside Eagle Observer/SUSAN HOLLAND The Gravette High School Class of 2022 chose a "That 70's Show" theme for their homecoming parade display. The juniors booth featured a disco dance floor, a cutout of a VW automobile and a psychedelic poster proclaiming "Gravette is Groovy."
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Westside Eagle Observer/SUSAN HOLLAND Members of the Gravette High School volleyball team pose for the camera during the 2020 homecoming parade Friday afternoon. One brought along a volleyball and several of the girls held brightly colored balloons which caught passerbys' attention.
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Westside Eagle Observer/SUSAN HOLLAND Members of the senior class at Gravette High School chose a space theme featuring NASA astronauts and a flag on the moon for their 2020 homecoming booth. The Class of 2021 erected a sign reading, "One small step for Lions, One giant step for Seniors."
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Westside Eagle Observer/SUSAN HOLLAND A long line of vehicles winds along Lion Drive in front of Gravette High School as area residents drive by Friday afternoon to view the displays in the unique GHS homecoming parade. Many local citizens enjoyed the reverse parade planned in 2020.
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Westside Eagle Observer/SUSAN HOLLAND HOSA student Niushka Garcia pauses as she supervises her "patient," Rylee Brewer, who is hooked up to an IV. Members of the HOSA Club, students who are preparing for a career in the health care field, joined others in the 2020 homecoming parade.
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Westside Eagle Observer/SUSAN HOLLAND Homecoming queen candidate Aubrey Gebhart poses with her friend Keeli Moore Friday afternoon during the 2020 homecoming parade. Each of the three queen candidates were on hand to greet passersby in the unique reverse parade.
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Westside Eagle Observer/SUSAN HOLLAND GHS homecoming queen candidate Mikey Larson poses for a solo photo while her escorts James Duncan and Lane Wilkins were away for a break. Mikey was crowned as 2020 homecoming queen in ceremonies Friday afternoon at Lion Field.
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Westside Eagle Observer Young participants in the 2020 homecoming ceremonies pose with a Lion mascot under a tent decorated with orange and black balloons during the 2020 homecoming parade Friday. Pictured are flowergirl Aspen Bertschy and attendant Noah Buck.
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Westside Eagle Observer/SUSAN HOLLAND Members of the Gravette High School Future Farmers of America set up a display during the homecoming parade Friday afternoon. The booth, appropriately situated at the edge of a hayfield, featured a large tractor, hay bales and even a pair of goats.
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Westside Eagle Observer/SUSAN HOLLAND GHS superintendent Maribel Childress watches the 2020 homecoming parade Friday afternoon at Gravette High School. Watching with Childress are athletic director Norman Mitchell, baseball coach Bryan Bearden and senior boys basketball coach Matt Busch.
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Westside Eagle Observer/SUSAN HOLLAND Members of the Lady Lion basketball team had a retro theme for their booth in the 2020 homecoming parade Friday. Posters reminded passersby of the 90's grunge, 80's neon, disco and hippie eras. Their display, shown here, was on the GHS front lawn.
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Westside Eagle Observer/SUSAN HOLLAND Members of the Class of 2023 man their booth alongside Lion Drive during the 2020 Gravette High School homecoming parade. The sophomore class chose an MTV theme for their display which was viewed by several drive-by parade participants.
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Westside Eagle Observer/SUSAN HOLLAND Members of the Gravette High School TV crew give a thumbs up as area residents drive by their display in the 2020 homecoming parade Friday afternoon. Students pictured are Josh Carl, Lana Busby, Emily Lucas and Paul Ehrhart.
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Westside Eagle Observer/SUSAN HOLLAND Shannon Mitchell, Gravette High School principal, and assistant principal Taos Jones, drive along the parade route and Jones waves to the crowd as they pass. The GHS golf cart recently donated to the school is a handy way to get around campus.
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Westside Eagle Observer/SUSAN HOLLAND Members of the Gravette High School band, under the direction of bandleader Aaron Ray, perform the school fight song on the campus in front of the school Friday afternoon. The band always helps build school spirit with their lively performances.
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Westside Eagle Observer/SUSAN HOLLAND Members of the GHS cheerleading squad perform a routine for folks driving by in the 2020 homecoming parade. Cheerleaders used their pink pom poms, wore pink bows and socks decorated in pink to honor October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
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Westside Eagle Observer/SUSAN HOLLAND Members of the Gravette High School Stream Team display their banner along Lion Drive in front of the school Friday afternoon during the 2020 homecoming parade. Pictured are students Mikya Terhune, Breanna Barrett and Tara Key.

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