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All 39 Gilbert Public Schools represented in Gilbert Days Parade

Gilbert Public Schools administrators walk with Mesquite High School students in the 2021 Gilbert Days Parade.


The Gilbert Days Parade made its grand return to the Downtown Heritage District on Saturday, November 20. For the first time in two years, thousands of families lined Gilbert Road to see the colorful floats, signs, smiling dancers, roaring marching bands, and much more. Gilbert Days festivities have been uniting people of all ages for roughly seven decades. The parade remains the premiere event in what’s considered the largest town in America. Among the marchers this year were students and staff from all 39 Gilbert Public Schools. 

“It’s really exciting and I’m glad to be here to represent our school,” said Brooklyn Roberts, a member of the Student Council at Highland Junior High School.

For Roberts and fellow Highland Junior Student Council member, McKenna Matz, this was their first time being at the Gilbert Days Parade. The anticipation and spirit of the event could be felt by many. The parade was also an opportunity to share with the community what makes the Gilbert Public Schools family so great.

“I just love that they care about the students. They do a good job of making sure everyone is safe and happy,” Matz said.  

Gilbert Elementary students dressed as future professionals for the 2021 Gilbert Days Parade.
Mesquite High School created the parade float that represented Gilbert Public Schools. Student Council members and volunteers spent more than 12 hours building it, but their hard work was worth it. They chose a flying school bus design that embraced the parade’s theme, “Gilbert: City of the Future.” They used pvc pipes, poly fill, paint, tinsel, flower pots, and more to bring their vision to life.

“I feel so amazing. It feels so great to get it all done,” said Katelyn Ayon, a member of Mesquite High School’s Student Council.

Superintendent Dr. Shane McCord, Governing Board members, and GPS administrators waved to the crowd alongside the float. Announcers were placed throughout the parade route, so they could judge the parade entries in five categories. Congratulations to Gilbert Elementary for winning “best school representation of the future.” The judges really liked that Gilbert Elementary students dressed as future professionals.

Gilbert Elementary will receive an award and free entry into the 2022 Gilbert Days Parade. The school will also be recognized at the Gilbert Water Tower lighting ceremony on Monday, November 29. 

Written by Kailey Latham, Photos by Jonason Pauley