Even though this will be the first week of the football season where Riverbank Bruins football players are on the road, next week will see the Homecoming Game on the RHS schedule. The normally busy Homecoming activities planned will be augmented by an influx of alumni, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the founding of Riverbank High School, in 1967.
The first class graduated in 1968.
A committee formed of local alumni, many of them teachers still living in or around the Riverbank area, has scheduled activities to kick off the celebration for next Thursday evening, Sept. 21, in downtown.
Then the Homecoming Parade in the afternoon on Friday, Sept. 22 will be followed by the big halftime celebration of crowning a new King and Queen at the Homecoming game. Adding to the festivities will be alumni from through the years at RHS attending to participate in that 50th anniversary.
The Thursday event has been dubbed by the committee as the Alumni Brew ‘n Crawl, beginning on Santa Fe and Third streets, at Pizza Plus and the Plaza del Rio. Live music and food will be featured from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
The Red Carpet Tavern will be offering drink specials during the same time. Alumni also will be welcome at The 108 Sports Lounge on Atchison Street, which is offering drink specials, $2 tacos and $2 beer until 2 a.m.
At the same time, the Riverbank Historical Museum will be staffed by volunteers opening for the evening, with a brand new display recognizing the early days of RHS Bruin football.
Historical Society board member Mary Banda has acquired an early Bruin football uniform from RHS staff and it will be on display in the museum. Also available for review will be the near complete collection of RHS yearbooks, beginning with the class of 1967-68. Alumni can enjoy reliving memories while perusing the yearbooks while visiting the museum.
Although Banda graduated in Southern California, she began working at Cardozo Middle School in 1971 before moving to California Avenue Elementary School in the mid-1970s, and so has worked with many of the RHS alumni as students over the years.
Friday, Sept. 22 will bring the main celebration, with the Homecoming Parade through the streets of downtown Riverbank beginning at 3:30 p.m. The parade usually forms near the Community swimming pool at Seventh and Stanislaus streets, then comes west on Santa Fe, turning south on Third and east on Stanislaus, headed back to the area of the Community Center.
RHS Coach Monte Wood, on his Cross Country/Track & Field Facebook page, noted the 50th recognition and is inviting all RHS track and field and cross country alumni to join in on the parade. He said fellow Coach Bruce Edwards will have a decorated van to drive in the parade. Athletes will walk or run the parade route, he said.
“I even have vintage jerseys for alumni to wear if they desire,” Wood said, adding that the group will assembly at the community pool.
“Once a Bruin, Always a Bruin!” he added.
An Alumni Reception will be held during the JV football game on Friday evening, hosted in the Fauria Memorial Gymnasium on the RHS campus. Organizers said it will include an RHS Timeline and complimentary appetizers, from 5 p.m. until the fourth quarter of the early game.
The group will then move over to the adjacent football field for a Pre-Game Show that will honor the RHS Bruin Band and alumni band members, with an Olympic-style parade around the track by decade/class.
An ‘after party’ has been scheduled for The 108 Sports Lounge, where alumni can enjoy live music and alumni drink specials following the game.
The committee is hoping alumni members can get in touch with their former classmates, asking them to show their Bruin pride. They are asking participants to wear their class jackets, homecoming sashes, crowns, T-shirts, whatever they have to show their pride.
Also a Spirit Bear will be awarded to the most spirited class at the high school, to be displayed in the RHS office until next year’s Homecoming game.
The committee has established a Facebook page. Search “Riverbank High School-Fifty Looks Good On Us” or @RHS50thanniversary for more information.