Large crowds filled the sidewalks alongside La. 16 in downtown Amite on Saturday for the first Krewe of Champions Parade, sponsored by the Tangipahoa Parish school system.

The parade, inaugurated by schools Superintendent Melissa Stilley, aims to place a spotlight on the parish’s championship sports teams and those students realizing academic accomplishments.

Featured in the parade, along with winning sports teams, were parish principals, teachers and students of the year. Also recognized were spelling bee and science and social fair winners. Bands from all the Tangipahoa Parish high schools and junior high schools marched with the champions. At the event’s conclusion, Stilley said that the Krewe of Champions Parade was the highlight of her long career in education.

She said it was her intention to have the parade become an annual event.