Hayden homecoming parade clangs down Main Street | SteamboatToday.com

Hayden homecoming parade clangs down Main Street

Blythe Terrell

Hayden Valley Elementary School students wave orange streamers and march toward the Hayden High School sophomore parade float Friday afternoon during the homecoming parade.

— Hayden residents left home and work to witness cheers, chants and cartwheels Friday afternoon.

Hal Bennett sat near the intersection of Jefferson Avenue and Chestnut Street, holding a wiggling, giggling granddaughter as they waited for the homecoming parade to start. Sydney Bennett, 4, came to Hayden from Fort Collins to watch the parade with her family. Her dad, Devin, attended Hayden High School, and her mom, Melissa, grew up in Oak Creek.

“Candy and cousins” are Sydney’s favorite part of the parade. Those cousins are Tigers football players Coy and Treyben Letlow.

Hal Bennett said he was a fan of the event, too – and he’s seen it plenty of times. Bennett’s 50th high school reunion is this weekend; he went to Hayden High School when it was known as Hayden Union High.

Not much has changed as far as homecoming is concerned, he said.

“It seems like everybody really goes for it, pretty much,” Bennett said. “We’re hoping to make the playoffs.”

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Before long, the homecoming parade clanged its way eastward from the schools, down Jefferson Avenue.

Hayden’s cheerleaders led the way, toting a Tigers banner and Colorado and U.S. flags. The band followed on a trailer towed by a Dodge 4×4 pickup, sounding a spirited rendition of “Eye of the Tiger.”

Children ran out from the curbs to collect cups, candy and toy balls flying their way. The high school students made their way down Jefferson on foot and on floats, chanting. Each float carried the mark of its class, freshmen through seniors, and related to this year’s “Back in Black” homecoming theme.

“We just dominated,” read the sign on the back of the freshman float, which trailed strings of orange cans.

The elementary school children came last. The Hayden Valley Student Council Cubs led the group. The children danced along, wearing orange streamers on their wrists, chanting and throwing in the occasional cartwheel.

At the very end, came a bus of kindergartners chanting “elementary” as they waved from the windows.

“I liked the kids doing cartwheels,” said Halle Hamilton, 4, as she munched on candy from a cup.

And the floats?

“That was cool, too,” Halle said.

Her friend Hunter Luedtke, 4, was a fan of the candy he collected.

Oh, his dad Dan reminded him, and “the big trucks.”