Thanks to the parent of an H. Frank Carey High School student, the 2016 homecoming day parade briefly turned a stretch of highway into a house party.
“It’s Homecoming 2016,” declared DJ Chris Buchanan over a microphone, riding in a truck with CD mixers, an audio system and large speakers. “Let me hear you scream!”
The parade rolled down several blocks of Hempstead Turnpike through Franklin Square on Saturday, and in typical fashion featured cheerleaders, homecoming king and queen candidates and the marching band.
But in the middle Buchanan was hard at work, mixing popular dance songs as the crowd moved to the beat.
“I’ve been DJing since 1986,” said Buchanan, the owner of CB Sounds Entertainment in Franklin Square.
He regularly spins at parties and events but explains, “I have an older son who graduated [Carey] and another [named Collin] who’s currently a sophomore… I started playing the Little League parade, but with my sons in Carey I started setting up and playing the homecoming parade from in front of the Greene Turtle," a restaurant on Hempstead Turnpike in Franklin Square.
This was the first year he was actually in the parade, and the students appreciated his efforts.
“The DJ makes you feel more pumped,” said 15-year-old kickline member Hannah Condia, “and everybody gets in a good mood.”
Buchanan's impact as a DJ is already well-known in the school. He not only helps advise Carey’s DJ Club, but has donated equipment for student use.
“Mr. Buchanan has helped us on how to do stuff, get music [and] advance our skills,” said Carey student Erica Vasquez, who is a member of both the school’s kickline team and the DJ Club, which gives students interested in learning how to DJ an opportunity to practice and perform at school events.
Buchanan is also a member of the Carey Dads’ Club, a nonprofit organization open to all parents and guardians in the Carey school community.
The group, through game vending and other sales, helps to raise funds that benefit students and also provides scholarships.
“Doing the parade is important for me,” Buchanan said. “When I look out at the crowd that comes down, a lot of the people have children who aren’t Carey students yet… They see the fun we’re having, and it helps get them excited about a future at Carey, and their parents get to see how much of a big family Carey is.”
Collin Buchanan, 15, who is also a member of the DJ Club, enjoyed watching his dad pump up the parade crowd.
“Oh yeah, being a DJ runs in the family, and he’s great,” Collin said. “...He’s one of the best DJs I’ve ever heard in my life.”