Published 12:00 am Friday, October 25, 2019

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Another one of the traditions that have stayed strong at Andalusia High School during homecoming week is float building.

The streets during today’s parade will be lined with the massive Bulldogs and trailers that pull the floats.

Every year, the homecoming floats have a theme. This year, the theme was “Heroes.”

Last night, AHS alumna and now choir teacher Hannah Cross came to the float site at the Covington County Arena for the first time since she graduated high school in 2007.

“It is actually pretty fun,” Cross said. “I have been looking forward to it because I get to see what they are doing and what they are making. It gets me excited to be back.”

Cross said the float building tradition is very important to her students.

“Float building is a great tradition at Andalusia High School,” Cross said. “The kids look forward to it. All I have heard in my class this week is them talking about rolling and making floats.”

She makes it a point to educate her students on the importance of Andalusia pride and homecoming traditions are a big part of it.

“I talk to my students a lot about why so many students come back to teach here,” Cross said. “It is about the tradition and pride that you take in your school. I will always remember a homecoming memo that Mrs. Spurlin sent out while my sister was in school and it said, ‘Respect the tradition and we will have a great time,’ and it is that whole mentality of respect the traditions of Andalusia. I love that we have so many previous students that come back, because they understand that tradition. No other school does homecoming like Andalusia. I think Joe Wingard would be proud that we still have all of these traditions in place.”

Another AHS alumna and teacher Nicole Jackson still remembers what her freshman float was when she was in high school.

“It was ‘Hunks and Chunks,’ I believe,” Jackson said. “The theme that year was commercials. Junior year, we did the Road Runner because the theme was cartoons. I have several good memories of building floats during my high school years.”

To Jackson, the importance of the float building tradition is that it sets the school apart from other schools in the state.

“I mean, my own children have been helping with floats since they were babies,” Jackson said. “It is kind of like a rite of passage. It is always exciting to me to see the spin the different classes take on the theme.”

AHS principal Dr. Daniel Shakespeare believes all of the traditions during homecoming add to the overall culture of the school.

“During homecoming, we get to showcase the school to the school and the alumni,” Shakespeare said. “So, I believe all of these traditions are very important.”