Organizers hope to see Hillsville’s Main Street full of Cavalier silver and navy blue Sept. 24 as a Homecoming Parade that night will be the first of its kind locally in at least 30 years.
Carroll County’s football team will host Blacksburg the following Friday night, Sept. 25, for the annual Homecoming game. Kerry Crowley, a member of the Carroll County Cavaliers’ Touchdown Club, has been working on organizing the event for close to two years. It’s her hope the parade will renew school spirit and get the community involved to support not only the varsity football program, but every football program in the county, as well as its cheerleaders. The parade will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 24 and will go down the traditional Hillsville parade route from Main Street onto U.S. 58, ending at the Grover King VFW Post 1115.
“We have rescheduled the JV football game scheduled at that time so all the football programs could participate. We have also extended the invitation to all the rec department teams as well as the Upward Bound teams and cheerleading squads to participate in the parade,” Crowley said. “The parade will end at the VFW, where they will be sponsoring a bonfire. I have asked some of the local businesses to support our Cavaliers and decorate their windows in silver and navy blue to help build community spirit and school spirit. I’m hoping this will get our community more involved in not just one particular sport, but all sports.”
Crowley wants the entire community involved in the parade, which is why it will include the Carroll County High School Marching Band, the Carroll County Junior ROTC program, the Kazim Hillbillies, and the Carroll County High School Homecoming Court.
“I want the community to see what a positive impact their support can have on these children and it starts with them being in sandlot, it starts with them playing flag football in kindergarten. These boys on this team, we have four that have played since fourth grade, and now they are seniors. These four kids have went through every step of the way,” Crowley said. “Without the support of their parents and coaches, they wouldn’t be here. Imagine how many kids would be in the program with the support of the community no matter whether they fumbled or threw an interception. That is my goal behind this, to get our community involved and show them we are proud about our team. Other towns do it. Wytheville has done it for years. Fort Chiswell doesn’t even have a main street, but they have a parade.”
Crowley said car dealer Jeff Johnson will be providing transportation for the Homecoming Court during the parade, while Scott Smith of Bert’s Garage will provide transportation for the football team. Personal Touch Florist is going to be helping provide the flowers for the Homecoming Court. Transportation will also be provided for the Carroll cheerleaders, and the Carroll County Sheriff’s Department, Carroll County Fire Department, Hillsville Police Department and Grover King VFW Post 1115 will also participate. Local candidates for public office in the November General Election have also been invited to participate so long as they provide transportation for a sandlot or Upward Bound football team. Anyone wishing to participate in the parade may do so by contacting the Carroll County Rec Department or Kerry Crowley at (276) 233-2469 by Monday, Sept. 21.
“Because it is a homecoming parade, participation is limited to those providing transportation for a team, whether it’s sandlot, Upward or a school, simply because this parade is solely about the children, school spirit and community spirit,” Crowley said. “All of these children, all of our athletes, all of our chorus members, all our drama club, they all need the support of the community. We shouldn’t just be supporting them when they win. The girls’ softball team is a perfect example. I watched their support grow with every single win. They don’t start fielding a following until they start winning. These kids need our support, win or lose. Our football players hear the things being said about them from the locals and we need to show the kids support, no matter if they win or lose, we would love to have you in our stands. It takes a village to raise a child and our village needs to step up.”
Crowley said the Carroll County Cavaliers Touchdown Club would like to thank the Town of Hillsville for helping with the parade permit, and Hillsville Town Council for approving the parade. And while the Cavaliers are off this Friday, September 18, she wants to remind the community it can still support the Cavaliers with a Touchdown Club fundraiser Bingo Sept. 18 at 6:30 p.m. at the CCHS Cafeteria. Cost is $30 for games, bonus games and door prize tickets. Concessions will also be available.
Allen Worrell can be reached at (276) 779-4062 or on Twitter@AWorrellTCN