CAPE CORAL, Fla. - A decades-old tradition at Cape Coral High School could soon come to a bitter end, after the school says new costs are being imposed by the city.
Cape Coral High's homecoming parade is a time-honored tradition. For over 30 years, students have snaked through town all in the name of school spirit.
"Everyone comes out there. They get their chairs and stuff, they sit and watch the parade. It's a lot of fun," Cape Coral High School senior Zohair Zaidi said Tuesday.
For the past two years, Cape Coral's homecoming parade traced through 47th Terrace. In the past, barricades to block off the parade route were provided for free. This year, the school says the city wants $1,700 dollars to do it.
"I was shocked. First of all, $1,700 for some barricades sounds like a lot of money," Cape Coral High School Student Government Sponsor Gloria Cross said.
It's a fee Cape Coral High School says they simply can't fork out. The school says the city's now dropped the bill down to $1,000, but the school's Student Government is asking them to completely cut out the charge for the sake of tradition.
"I'm not thinking it's likely they are willing to forgo the fees. And we just simply aren't in the position to be able to pay those," Cross said Tuesday.
Now, the school's Student Government is moving forward with plans to cancel the parade. They'll instead show class floats during the homecoming football game, straying from a school tradition for the first time in 32 years.
"You generally don't break a tradition for anything. It's heartbreaking for anyone. For the students there, there have already been a lot of changes. So now if we don't have a parade, I'm not sure how the students will react to that," Zaidi said.
The City of Cape Coral's spokesperson responded to the new costs by stating the parade route requires a downtown road to be closed, and that there is a "permit charge to hold a large, special event".