ELIZABETH – Over 5,000 representatives from the Elizabeth Public School District’s 33 schools marched in the second annual Excellence Parade on Sunday afternoon, May 5, to the cheers and applause of large crowds gathered along the mile long route from Union Square to the reviewing stand on Pearl Street.
The parade was organized by Elizabeth Public Schools, with the approval and support of the City of Elizabeth. Over 50 contingents, including one from each of the district’s schools, were represented. This year’s parade included themed floats, decorated trucks and buses, dancers, bands, vocalists, and percussion units.
Music filled the streets as the Elizabeth High School Marching Band, winner of the US Bands Group 5A State and National championships for the second consecutive year, entertained along the parade route with musical selections from their colorful field show entitled Tango.
Highlighted on the athletics float were athletes who were successful this year in several sports, including the football team who were the No. 1 ranked team in New Jersey according to News 12 NJ and Gridiron Magazine.
Many schools carried multiple banners illustrating the many facets of their educational programs and district’s culture. Clubs & activities, sports, special honors, and academic themes were represented on more than 16 floats.
Elementary through high school students, many in costumes, sang, danced, and cheered their way to the grandstand. Highlights included a float which depicted the Ronald Reagan Academy “ranch” with students in western attire; a replica steam engine; and a group of students, led by a costumed Abraham Lincoln, rolling giant pennies bearing their school’s name and logo.
For students who didn’t want to make the long march, including Early Childhood students, there were designated cheering sections along the route where even the youngest were able to cheer and wave flags.
Board of Education President Tony Monteiro commented, “I’m honored to be a part of such a grand tribute to student achievement. The planning and many long hours that went into the making of these elaborate displays and group performances show the talent and dedication of our students and team members.”
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