When Lindenhurst High School senior Nicole Stoppelli went to take the SAT on Saturday morning, she was dressed in multi-colored tie dye, with a flower crown wrapped around her forehead.
Her fashion choices may have seemed a little out of place during test time, but Stoppelli didn’t mind. She wanted to be in psychedelic style while marching alongside her senior class’ ’60s-themed float in their homecoming day parade that afternoon.
“When I was getting ready this morning, I knew I was going to have to rush,” Stoppelli said. “I wasn’t sure I was going to make it at all.”
To accommodate seniors taking the SAT, Lindenhurst High School pushed back the homecoming parade and game an hour and a half, with the parade beginning at 1:30 p.m. and kickoff at 3.
What they didn’t expect was the heavy rain that morning, putting the school in a rather unusual bind. Unable to reschedule the game, the school instead delayed their parade until 2:45, creating an overlap between the parade and kickoff.
“We couldn’t take off in the rain. The floats are made out of tissue paper; they would have been destroyed before even getting down the block,” assistant principal Jim Campbell said. “These students worked furiously since school started on these things, we didn’t want it all to go to waste.”
For Stoppelli, the rain delay was a blessing in disguise.
“To be honest, it was great,” she said. “I was thinking I would have to jump on the float mid-parade. I don’t know what I would have done.”
Stoppelli, who serves as president of the varsity club and a member of student council, spent almost three months working with more than 100 other students to put together their senior float, which was crowned winner of the homecoming float competition at halftime. Glory aside, Stoppelli’s favorite part of the process was the friendships she made along the way.
“We all got really close this year and bonded in a way we really haven’t before,” Stoppelli said. “That’s why it was really important for us to all be here.”
The parade left from the parking lot of the North Lindenhurst Fire Department under clear skies, and made it to the parking lot of the Lindenhurst Middle School football field roughly halfway into the first quarter of the game.
“Football is football, the game was going to go on no matter what, rain or shine,” Campbell said. “We wanted to make sure that everyone could take part in homecoming this year too, and this was the best way to do it.”