Weldon Elementary School in Clovis celebrated national Red Ribbon Week on Wednesday with its 27th annual Red Ribbon Parade in Old Town Clovis.
The week is meant to encourage schoolchildren to take a stand against drugs. It has its origins in people wanting to honor the memory of federal Drug Enforcement Administration agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena, who was tortured and killed allegedly by members of a drug cartel in 1985. Friends began wearing red ribbons in his honor.
By 1988, the first Red Ribbon Week was organized by National Family Partnership. Weldon Elementary held its first parade in 1989, the year the school won the National Drug Free School Award.
Weldon cheerleaders led the parade, followed by each grade-level entry carrying a sign recognizing a pillar of character. Weldon students were joined by the Clovis High and Clark Intermediate marching bands, the Clovis Police Department and the Clovis Fire Department and a group of students from nearby Sierra Vista Elementary. The grand marshal was former Fresno State football player Lorne Bell, a representative of Central Valley Fellowship of Christian Athletes.