Exuberant kids and athletes hopped on floats, boats and truck flatbeds as they waved, tossed candy and celebrated homecoming week with a parade on Sept. 15. The procession on the Old Highway began at Islamorada Dry Cleaners, rolling up to the school where high school floats decorated to the decades stopped in front of a tent to perform in front of administrators. Families and friends situated alongside the road looked on as the floats, convertibles with the homecoming court and Miss Coral Shores passed by with smiles and waves. The parade also welcomed other Upper Keys schools, including the Plantation Key School and Key Largo School bands, Treasure Village Montessori and Ocean Studies Charter School. Young athletes from Islanders Soccer and Key Largo football, as well as dancers from On Your Toes participated in the parade.

Jim McCarthy is one of the many Western New Yorkers who escaped the snow and frigid temperatures for warm living by the water. A former crime & court reporter and city editor for two Western New York newspapers, Jim has been honing his craft since he graduated from St. Bonaventure University in 2014. In his 4-plus years in the Keys, Jim has enjoyed connecting with the community. “One of my college professors would always preach to be curious,” he said. “Behind every person is a story that’s unique to them, and one worth telling. As writers, we are the ones who paint the pictures in the readers minds of the emotions, the struggles and the triumphs.” Jim is past president of the Key Largo Sunset Rotary Club, which is composed of energetic members who serve the community’s youth and older populations. Jim is a sports fanatic who loves to watch football, hockey, mixed martial arts and golf. He also enjoys time with family and his new baby boy, Lucas, who arrived Oct. 4, 2022.