A Look Behind the Planning of Minnetonka’s 2018 Homecoming Parade

Anna Geldert, Staff Writer

It has been almost a month since Minnetonka’s annual homecoming parade, and, for the most part, it is now a fun and exciting memory. People of all ages lined the streets amongst a flurry of blue and white decor, anxiously awaiting the arrival of the dozens of decorated floats that soon streamed by.

However, very few people know about the “before” and “after” stages of the parade and who is involved in the planning of such a big event for the Minnetonka community.

In fact, it is not one, not two, but a vast array of people who help to coordinate and manage the parade. Bill Wenmark, known to most as simply “Doc,” is one of them.

This year, as the after-school coordinator for MHS, Wenmark was in charge of planning the parade for the second year in a row and was very excited to be involved with this opportunity.

“Homecoming planning and execution is like an orchestra,” says Wenmark, describing the enormous group effort that went into coordinating the event. “What a wonderful thing to be asked to be the conductor of.”

MHS’s student government was also involved in planning the homecoming parade this year.

“Everyone in student government worked on the parade to some extent,” says sophomore representative Erinn Fiedler, ‘21.

Though she herself was not part of it, Fiedler explains that there was also a specific committee, within student government dedicated to the parade.

“For the people of the parade committee it was a very big time commitment starting back in July and August,” she said.

All in all, the homecoming parade this year was a huge success. An estimated 5,000 people attended across three blocks of Lake Street in Excelsior, not to mention the 43 floats that made up the parade itself. Parents, students, teachers, and administrators from Minnetonka all worked together with business owners and public service officials in Excelsior to make the event possible. The homecoming parade is a tradition unique to the Minnetonka school district, and represents the community’s sense of pride and school spirit that centers around the football game.

Already, there is talk of planning next year’s parade.

“It was really fun to plan the parade this year, and hopefully next year we can make it even better,” says Fiedler.

Wenmark has already met with people to talk about the successes of this year’s parade and to look ahead at planning next year’s.

“I was so proud of everything,” he said.