Making up for what was viewed as a preseason snub, the Minnesota Vikings have roughed out an agreement to recognize the team’s cheerleading group from many years ago on a game day during the regular season and further into the future as well.
The Vikings front office said Monday that the Parkettes (circa 1964 to 1983) will put on a reunion performance on Nov. 20, when the Vikings host the Arizona Cardinals at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Ahead of their first preseason contest at the new stadium on Aug. 28, the Vikings invited former cheerleaders to cheer at the game. The invite went out to roughly 500 alums from 1984 (when the team established the Minnesota Vikings Cheerleaders group) to 2015.
The Parkettes — St. Louis Park high school students who acted as the sole cheerleaders for the team from 1964 for two decades — were not invited, nor were they allowed to register, said Parrel Caplan, an original Parkette from 1964.
“We were the official Vikings cheerleaders for 20 years,” Caplan said last month.
The Viking responded at the time in a statement saying the team would “look at avenues to honor them in the future.”
On Monday, team spokesman Jeff Anderson said the Vikings have made good on that pledge after “positive discussions with the Parkettes over the past several weeks.”
Along with performing before the Nov. 20 game, Anderson added, the Parkettes “will also provide a database of cheerleaders who will be included in all future Minnesota Vikings Cheerleader activities and programs.”
Mary Bechay Miller said Monday that she and her sideline high-kickers couldn’t be happier that the team came through for them.
“I know a lot of girls from out of state will be coming,” said Miller, 58, who lives in Minneapolis. “We’re trying to see how many women we can find.”
The particulars of the appearance are still being ironed out, Miller said. The Parkettes’ website lists a 10 a.m. performance ahead of a noon kickoff.
“We’ll still be doing those flying kicks,” Miller said, her laugh implying that won’t be the case. “We’ll get that old Parkette spirit back and give 125 percent, like we always did.”