UTICA — Hometown spirit was at its annual high point Wednesday evening in Utica when the 80th annual Utica Homecoming kicked off, sponsored by the Utica Volunteer Fire Department and Auxiliary. Despite just a little bit of rain, the yearly four-day festival, attended by a large, enthusiastic crowd, began with the grand parade down Central Avenue as parade-goers lined the street to get a glimpse of the numerous parade participants. Fire and rescue units, Biddy football teams, cheerleaders, Boy Scouts, local businesses, and various churches and organizations all made their way down the parade route while eager youngsters waited to gobble up the generous offering of goodies passed out.
Following the parade, it was time to honor the homecoming royalty at the homecoming stage. Selected to reign over the 2012 homecoming festivities were Senior King and Queen Alan and Eileen Pratt, and Prince and Princess Logen Fisher and Katherine Hughes. The Pratts were introduced and honored by Utica Fire Chief Dan Helphrey and Assistant Chief Rob Pierpont, who spoke of the many contributions the Pratts have made to the Utica community, mainly at the Utica Church of Christ.
“We deeply appreciate the honor. This is a beautiful expression of your support,” said Alan Pratt. “We’re following a lot of prominent people in this position. It’s a special part of Utica,” added Eileen. They were presented with gifts of flowers and a clock.
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