Cainhoy High School to celebrate homecoming weekend this month

School alumni to celebrate with a parade, dance, and tailgating party
All roads lead to Huger for Cainhoy High School alumni. The former students and the greater Cainhoy community will soon celebrate their third annual homecoming and first parade since the high school closed in 1996.
 
Cainhoy Elementary School is preparing to rekindle the cherished tradition that once united generations of alumni. Former Cainhoy High School graduates will gather at the school on Oct. 20-21, bringing together a total of 41 classes for the alumni homecoming weekend. Participating graduates from 1956 and upwards will get to enjoy a homecoming parade, dance and tailgating event that welcomes all Cainhoy tigers. 
 
The event aims to bridge the gap created when Cainhoy High School closed in 1996. Launched in 1955, the school was originally named the Cainhoy Elementary and High School, serving grades 1-12. Over the years it was modified to serve elementary and middle school students and is now only an elementary school. 
 
When the school still included high school grades, homecoming was held each year before the school closed. 
 
Hundreds if not thousands of graduates in the Cainhoy-Huger-Wando community looked forward to the annual homecoming parade, dance and football game, which all came to a halt once the high school shut down.
 
“When Cainhoy closed in 1996, the community became divided,” explained LaWanda Glears, principal of Cainhoy Elementary and an alumni of Cainhoy High. “Some students went to Timberland, while others went to Hanahan.”
 
Glears said when she became principal in 2017, she and a fellow graduate began to discuss how great it would be to reunite the school’s alumni. She recalled her high school days, when the community would line Cainhoy Road to watch the parade and celebrate the school’s tiger pride. She says the school and its neighbors would get so excited when homecoming season came around, she can recall her mom and many other Cainhoy parents leaving work early to attend the parade and festivities. 
 
Starting up again in 2021, Glears revived the Cainhoy homecoming festivities. “I wanted to bring back some of the traditions that brought the school and the community together.”
 
Now in its third year, classes spanning from 1956 to 2016 will continue the tradition. On Oct. 20, starting at 5 p.m., a parade will wind its way from Huger Fire Station to Cainhoy Elementary, bringing together alumni, students, and local residents in a celebration of shared history and camaraderie.
 
The free parade, a vibrant tapestry of colors and nostalgia, will feature floats, antique cars, horses and enthusiastic participation from local churches, businesses, civic groups, and alumni. 
 
After the parade, food trucks will be available for all in attendance. Alumni and friends will have the opportunity to mingle, share stories, and pick up commemorative T-shirts, fostering a sense of belonging that transcends the years.
 
Following the parade, the alumni will have a Blue and Gold Dance at the A & B Event Center on Cainhoy Road. The school will crown a Mr. and Miss Homecoming and a Mr. Prince and Miss Princess Homecoming, who will also participate in the parade and homecoming activities. 
 
The following day, Oct. 21, will be the school’s tailgating event from 12-6 p.m. DJ Sam Wells will play music and alumni tents will be set up for each participating class. The school will set up a special tent for anyone in classes who wants to participate but is not registered. All Cainhoy parents and students are invited to share the homecoming experience. 
 
Admission to the tailgating event is $5 per person. All proceeds and donations from the tailgating event and T-shirt sales will go to the school. 
 
For many, this event is a long-awaited reunion, a chance to relive the cherished memories of their school years.
 
Veronica Jenkins, class of 1981, expressed her anticipation, saying, “This event is such a great opportunity to highlight the treasures of the Cainhoy community. Many of us grew up together as family and friends, but bonding as classmates and watching how our common foundation laid at Cainhoy schools has influenced the community for us is a wonderful blessing.”
 
Fran Karim, the office clerk at Cainhoy Elementary, expressed the community excitement: “The Cainhoy Alumni and Friends Homecoming is what this community has needed for a long time.  This brings so many people back together, from the young to the old. Not only do you get to see classmates but some family members that have moved away. The Cainhoy community is one big happy family. When the high school closed in 1996, we were then divided. We even had to play against each other in sports and that was hard, family against family. Having this event allows us to come back together and be one. Although some classes graduated from Hanahan or Timberland High, they are coming together as Cainhoy Tigers!”
 
Demi White, class of 1996, echoed Jenkins’ sentiments: “We believe once a tiger, always a tiger.”
 
As Cainhoy prepares for the revival of past traditions, Glears shares her goal in the effort of bringing it all back. “Since becoming the principal, my theme has been, ‘We are stronger together.’ Despite the closing of the middle and high school, we, the alumni and friends of Cainhoy, can weather any storm as long as we work together as a community.” 
 
 

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