On Friday afternoon at 5 p.m. people in the SWoCo community had already began to pull out their lawn chairs and gather in their neighborhood culdesacs in preparation for the annual Hidden Valley Homecoming Parade. Children were waiting anxiously on the curb with their Kroger and WalMart bags in hand, to fill with any candy that may be thrown from the various floats that passed by.
And they made a party out of it, even though the parade was short, about 10 or 15 minutes, the neighborhood children weren’t hesitant to let their friends know their older siblings would be on this float and their cousin was marching with the band.
Escorted by the Roanoke County Police, the Hidden Valley High School color guard and band led the parade.
The Seniors, Juniors, Sophomores, and Freshman classes had the opportunity to make a float and ride on it through the parade route, which left Hidden Valley High School around 5:45 Friday afternoon and made its way down Titan Trail, and then continued on Brambleton Avenue, finally ending at Cave Spring Elementary School.
Homecoming court and past King Nolan Hamilton and Queen Mary Burton were also in the parade traveling in convertibles, all of which took place before the Homecoming Game, Hidden Valley vs Rustburg.
Cave Spring Rescue Squad and Cave Spring Fire Department were also participants in the Homecoming Parade.
However, Homecoming was an all week event for students and teachers.
According to Cindy Lawrence, the Senior Class Sponsor other homecoming activities included:
Monday September 15th – Back to School Night
Tuesday September 16th – Tom DeLuca Show
Wednesday September 17th – Junior -Senior Powder puff Game
Friday September 19th- Pep Rally, Parade, Game
Saturday September 20th Dance – Shipwrecked in Paradise
Monday – Animal Day
Tuesday – Senior Citizen Day
Wednesday Celebrity Day
Thursday – Pirate Day
Friday – Extreme Blue and Gold Day
Since the fall of 2003 when Hidden Valley High School opened, the school has brought in Hypnotist Tom DeLuca for six years.
According to Tom DeLuca’s webiste, DeLuca earned a Masters Degree in Psychology from the University of Illinois. While working as a therapist, he also began performing before local civic groups; then went on to hone his skills as a stage performer throughout the mid-west before gaining national prominence.
“It’s for the senior class,” Lawrence said. “He costs us quite a bit of money, about $3,000.”
Lawrence also said that every year the student’s love having him come to Hidden Valley, but the first year they did not make much money off the event. The second year, they broke even.
Tickets to the show were $10 and the auditorium, which holds about 600 people, is always packed.
The school flys DeLuca from Orlando, Florida to Roanoke every year, takes him out to eat, and in the past has paid for his hotel, until he began staying with a local friend.
The money raised from the show goes to pay for the senior class activities held in May every year, including the senior breakfast at Hidden Valley Country Club, senior cook out, picnic, etc.
Students look forward to DeLuca’s performance every year because it’s specifically for the seniors and only seniors can be hypnotized, Lawrence said.
“We have a group of seniors that have to sit in a certain section to get picked to be hypnotized,” Lawrence said.”The kids have become very creative to get picked.”
Students go out of their way to bring attention to themselves by dressing up or making huge six to eight foot signs saying, “Tom, pick me!” with an arrow pointing down to them. Lawrence also recalls one student with a sighn that said “Fruits are my friends” because he uses that on the show.
Lawrence said the show lasted about an hours and 45 minutes and began at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, September 16. DeLuca chose about 20-25 students to be hypnotized.
Recent photo galleries of Hidden Valley: