ACS set to host homecoming parade

Alabaster’s annual homecoming parade will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 14, this year, and will highlight the city’s law enforcement officers. (File)

Alabaster’s annual homecoming parade will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 14, this year, and will highlight the city’s law enforcement officers. (File)

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

ALABASTER – The Alabaster City School System will continue its tradition of highlighting local sports teams while showing support for the city’s police officers during its annual homecoming parade in mid-September.

The parade will begin at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 14, at Thompson Middle School. From TMS, the parade will travel down Warrior Drive in front of Thompson High School, turn right onto Thompson Road and then turn left on Alabama 119 before ending at Larry Simmons Stadium behind Thompson Intermediate School.

In July, ACS finalized the theme of “Warrior Strong, for this year’s parade, which will occur much earlier in the season this year than it has in past years.

Following the theme of “Warrior Strong,” each entry in the parade will display a blue ribbon honoring the men and women of the Alabaster Police Department, according to the school system.

Also as part of the theme, Alabaster Police Chief Curtis Rigney will serve as the parade’s grand marshal, and will ride in the lead float at the beginning of the parade.

During the parade, each Alabaster school will design a float utilizing the “Warrior Strong” theme. The parade also will feature the THS marching band and visual ensemble, city youth league football players and cheerleaders and more.

Immediately following the parade, the night will conclude with a community pep rally at Larry Simmons Stadium featuring messages from THS head football coach Mark Freeman and team captains.

The parade and pep rally will come two days before the Warriors take on the Oak Mountain Eagles in a Sept. 16 homecoming matchup, which will be Thompson’s first home game of the 2016 season.

Thompson has seen a strong 2-0 start to the season, taking down Godby High School of Tallahassee, Fla., in a neutral-site matchup in Mobile on Aug. 27 and defeating Tuscaloosa County on the road on Sept. 2.

This will mark the fourth-consecutive community homecoming celebration for Alabaster since the Alabaster City School System formed in July 2013. The past three celebrations have drawn thousands of spectators along the parade route to show their support for the Warriors.