A sea of purple and gold could be seen for blocks in the City of Amsterdam on Sunday afternoon, as high school students, coaches and family members participated in district's annual homecoming celebration ahead of the homecoming football game.
Sunday's parade started at 1 p.m., followed by the game against Columbia High at Lynch Literacy Academy field at 2 p.m. Both events had been rescheduled from Saturday due to the recent death of a Columbia student athlete, for whom a moment of silence was held prior to the game's start.
The parade stepped off from the intersection of Grant and Lindbergh streets and ended at the football field. Members of the marching band, cheer squad and other school groups were decked out in gold and purple uniforms, either chatting among themselves or squeezing in some last minute music or routine practice prior the parade's start.
On the lawns lining the parade route, residents stood outside waiting to watch it go by, many of them calling out to marchers they knew or standing on the curb to snap a picture of the passing wave of people.
Gary Abbot, a Gloversville resident, stopped by the parade on his way to the football field to watch the game. A yearly attendee, he lauded his favorite parts of the homecoming festivities, which included some of the homemade food sold at the concession stand during the game.
"I'm a little early this year, I thought the game started at 1:30," he said. "But I'm just going to stick around here to watch these guys and then head over to the game. If you've never had the pasta fagioli they serve, everyone should try it."
The parade wound its way through Amsterdam to the football field, where other attendees were already making their way into the stadium to watch the Rugged Rams play, many carrying coolers and blankets to sit on.
By the time the game started at 2 pm., most of the bleachers on the Amsterdam side of the field were filled, the majority coming out to support a senior football player or cheerleader during their final homecoming game of their high school sports career.
Jodi Arraya and her husband, Michael, of Amsterdam, brought their young son, Max, to the game, who was toting a bike with him. Though the family didn't have relatives playing in the game, friends of theirs did.
"We just come every year to support them, and we enjoy watching the kids play," Jodi Arraya said. "It's a nice thing to do on a weekend for the whole community."
Before the game started, a few minutes of time were devoted to recognizing the senior athletes who would move on at the end of the school year, and the other groups involved with homecoming were given the chance to showcase their talents.
Each senior cheerleader had the chance to tear through a poster featuring her face and take a brief lap around the field. The marching band, before the game started, played a version of Aretha Franklin's "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman."
Shortly after, both teams were on the field and it was time to start the game.
"Ladies and gentlemen, who's ready for some homecoming football?" the day's announcer called to cheers from the audience.
Correction 8:28 am 9/23: This article has been changed to reflect the correct reason for the game's delay. The game and parade were delayed due to the death of a Columbia High School student.