Lancer Day has been the leading tradition at Shawnee Mission East for a number of years and is considered the best day of the school year for the majority of East students. It marks the first football game of the season every year. School is let out early at 1:10 p.m. for the Lancer Day Parade. With block scheduling, the parade takes the place of seminar on Lancer Day Friday.
Lancer Day is a celebration for all of East to mark the start of the football season. There is a parade that leads to The Village shopping center where a pep assembly is held to hype up the crowd before the game. The celebration continues on until the game that night.
There are no limitations on what groups can participate in the parade. Each class has its own float, as well as every club, sport and other group that wants to be involved. Student Council, along with athletic director Kelli Kurle and the administration, organize Lancer Day and the parade. Students line up in the senior parking lot to go down Mission Road and the parade begins at 2 p.m.
During the parade, east area families gather along Mission Road to watch the floats come by. Students on the floats toss candy to the crowd and children scramble to pick it all up. Students who are not participating in the parade watch it from the sides and come to the pep rally.
“I love being at the pep rally and feeling surrounded by school spirit; everyone is anticipating the big game just as much as me,” sophomore Ava Backer said.
At the rally, students gather together while the football captains give a speech to warm up the crowd for the game. The student body president and principal McKinney also make a speech. The students all stand together in front of the stage underneath the clock tower. During the speech the students respond to the hype by chanting back things like the “do what we do” chant. Once the speeches are done, everyone spaces out, arms around each other, to sing the school song. Everyone then scatters to deck themselves out in themed gear for the big game.