Armstrong-Walker Classic parade, tailgate and football game set for Nov. 27
Ronald E. Carrington | 11/18/2021, 6 p.m.
Richmond is set to celebrate the legendary Armstrong-Walker Classic with a parade on Saturday, Nov. 27, and ending with a tailgate and youth football game at Hovey Stadium at Virginia Union University.
The 45-unit parade will kick off at 10 a.m. from 4th and Leigh streets in Downtown and will feature former football players, cheerleaders and homecoming queens from the former Black powerhouse schools – Armstrong High School and Maggie L. Walker High School.
Alumni, marching bands, elected officials including Mayor Levar M. Stoney and members of Richmond City Council, business, civic and youth groups and antique and custom cars will be part of the parade celebrating the Armstrong Wildcats and their colors, orange and blue, and the Maggie Walker Mighty Green Dragons and their colors, green and white.
The parade will go down Leigh Street through Jackson Ward to the Maggie Walker school building, now a Governor’s School, at Leigh and Lombardy streets.
The event, which has been planned by a 15-member committee, is to teach youngsters about the storied history of the schools and to help revive the spirit of unity within the community when the two high schools squared off in the big game each year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.
The game drew 25,000 to 35,000 people to City Stadium for the annual match held between 1939 and 1978 before Richmond Public Schools reorganized and consolidated the city high schools, putting an end to the game.
This year’s parade also will feature former Gov. L. Douglas Wilder, a 1947 graduate of Armstrong High School. He is an honorary co-chair of the event, along with NFL football Hall of Famer Willie Lanier, a 1963 graduate of Maggie L. Walker High School.
Following the parade, an “Old School Tailgate” will be held noon to 5 p.m. in the parking lot of Hovey Stadium at 1500 Lombardy St. An antique car show, with 40 plus vintage Chevy Corvettes and Ford Mustangs, will be on display.
A peewee football game double-header will kick off at 2:30 p.m. at Willie Lanier Field at Hovey Stadium featuring youngsters in the Richmond Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities program. The players and cheerleaders will wear Armstrong’s and Walker’s colors in the tradition of this legacy throwback game.
All activities are free and food trucks will be available at the tailgate. However, alumni are permitted to bring cookers and grills to provide their own food.