SALADO — Amidst horn honking and raucous cheers, a Saturday morning parade for the 2020 graduating class of Salado High School passed down Williams Road, around the football field, by the junior high and elementary buildings and back to the main campus.

Stacy Randolph, parade coordinator, whose daughter, Piper Randolph, is among the 146 graduates, said there were maybe 400 people in the parade. American Legion Post No. 55 led off and the Salado Fire Department brought up the rear.

“I’m actually really surprised at the turnout,” Stacy Randolph said. “I’m so happy. They’ve missed so much. Salado’s such a good community.”

She said Piper, who was an outfielder for the Eagles softball team, expects to be playing for Texas State University while majoring in pre-law studies.

Ken Wagner, outgoing president of the Salado High School Band Boosters, said his son, Kenny Wagner, was one of the graduating seniors. Kenny plans to enter the nursing program at Stephen F. Austin University, his dad said.

Toward the front of the parade, Alan Tindell of Belton drove his red 2007 Roush Mustang convertible, decorated with red and white balloons, the school colors. On the passenger side rode his nephew, Jake Tindell, a graduating senior.

“It’s better than walking the stage,” Jake said of the parade.

His girlfriend, Casey Cosper, a junior at Troy High School, was there to send him off, as was his mother, Melanie Tindell.

“I’m very proud,” his mom said. “I had to work hard to get him to this point.”

Jake has played baseball all of his life and also does competitive bass fishing, she said. He plans to attend Texas State Technical College in Waco.

Nearby to cheer him on was his little sister, Justice, 10, who attends Thomas Arnold Elementary in Salado.

Bailey Lomas rode in the back of a 1966 Chevrolet truck owned by Melvin and Janet Maddux. Melvin said they’d known her since she was a little girl. Bailey plans to attend Temple College for one year and then transfer to the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor nursing program. Her parents are Pam and James Fannin.

Jonathan Rondon of Killeen said his wife, Nicole, was waiting along the parade route. His stepson Anthony Hernandez, a graduating senior, rode in the back of the truck with his sister, Jazlynn, 8. Anthony said he’s interested in graphic design as a career.

“I’m proud of my son for graduating,” Rondon said.

Another senior celebration

Troy ISD senior parents will hold a parade, with social distancing guidelines, at 3 p.m. today. Current and past Troy ISD community members are invited to the event, which will start at Raymond Mays Middle School, 915 W. Main St., go down Wendler and Aikman to Troy High School before heading east over a bridge to Trojan Park and visiting Leah, Kayla, Macy, Chrislyn, Steven and East Austin streets and College Avenue. The parade will end at the old middle school parking lot.