Libertyville High students, alumni celebrate homecoming with parade
As grand marshal of Libertyville High School's homecoming parade, Ethel Getchell said she had one job for Saturday morning's procession.
"I'm supposed to just wave my heart out," said Getchell, who at 97 is the oldest living Libertyville graduate.
And the Libertyville resident did just that, greeting countless paradegoers from her seat in the back of a red Chrysler LeBaron driven by one of her nephews, Jim Jochheim of Round Lake.
Saturday's parade down Milwaukee Avenue and Route 176 was more than the usual homecoming event. This year mark's Libertyville High's centennial, and many of the floats celebrated that prestigious anniversary.
Floats representing the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s were among those in the procession, decorated with decade-appropriate memorabilia.
The 1970s float, for example, was laden with posters for rock bands of the era, including Led Zeppelin and Rush.
The 1980s float featured oversized Rubik's cubes and characters from the classic Pac-Man video game.
Members of the classes of 1977 and 1987 -- celebrating their own anniversaries this year -- had floats, too.
"We've never done a homecoming reunion before, but we were able to get a group together," said 1977 graduate Ed Sweeney, now of North Aurora.
Of course, current students representing the marching band, athletic teams and other groups marched in the parade, too.
Libertyville-Vernon Hills Area High School District 128 Superintendent Prentiss Lea called the celebration "very, very special" because of the alumni and former staffers who participated in the parade.
"We could not be what we've become without the legacy those before us left us to build on," Lea said.