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story.lead_photo.caption Democrat photo/Austin HornbostelThe Lady Pintos softball team helps to bring up the rear of Friday’s parade.

With California High School's Homecoming drawing out much of the community, the organizers of this year's event are proud to say that it was a complete success.

With COVID-19 measures becoming more relaxed, California High School's celebration is almost a return to form. While there were some measures still in place, event sponsors said events like the parade and an indoor dance were able to finally return to the community, along with much support from local residents.

Student council sponsors Ashley Atteberry and Jamie Johnston — who organized the homecoming assembly, parade, dance, coronation and other events — said they were happy to see so many community members participate.

"I feel like the turnout was great for all of our events this year," Atteberry said. "We had to cancel the parade last year, so I think it made our turnout this year even better. We also had more than 200 students at our dance, which is more than normal."

Johnston said this was a blessing considering that it had rained heavily Oct. 2, the night of the dance. Both said while they were very satisfied with the community's response to events, they will be evaluating the school's overall feedback very soon.

"Homecoming is a great way to celebrate our school and share our spirit with the community and alumni," Johnston said. "That will be one of the things we try to assess this week, but so far we have had positive comments."

The two said while this was a return to form, there were some changes made to the parade this year. The students decided to decorate golf carts instead of building parade floats. This was introduced as a coronavirus precaution for the school last year in lieu of the normal parade. However, the students preferred the change and decided to carry on with it for their latest Homecoming festivities.

Atteberry said she was very proud of her community as they came together to support CHS students. She said many came to buy Homecoming T-shirts from the school, which will serve as the student council's main fundraiser for this year.

Atteberry and Johnston said while Homecoming is a celebration for California High School's students, it is also a way to connect with the community. They said California's schools are blessed to have such a supportive community and that they hope attendees to the parade, football game and other events felt included.

"I think overall, Homecoming 2021 was a success," Atteberry said. "We would like to thank (the community) for the support they gave our students this year by attending our events."

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