Homecoming parade brings community together in celebration
On Friday, Nov. 10th, Penn State celebrated with its annual Homecoming Parade, welcoming members of different Penn State chapters and organizations, as well as a number of local businesses and organizations, in a procession across campus.
The Penn State Homecoming team had many representatives around the parade route, and they were proud to see their work come to fruition.
Sophia Nitsolas, a Junior-year student in advertising/public relations and the Media Relations Captain for Homecoming 2017, said that this event is about more than the parade or the surrounding Homecoming Week. “Something we love to push is that Homecoming is not just a week in November or October, it’s a year-long engagement that really shows what it truly means to be a Nittany Lion.”
Members of the Penn State Homecoming team held the ribbon-cutting ceremony outside of the Intramural building, cutting the ribbon at exactly 6:00 p.m. The participants were eager and excited to begin performing in the parade, and people had long since been lining the sidewalks along the route to watch.
After the emergency service vehicles, some of the teams at the front of the parade were Jersey Mike, Nittany Mountain Trail Rides, hundreds of uniformed members of Penn State’s ROTC program, and the State College Marching Band.
A number of important Penn State figures appeared, including Scott Shirley, the 2017 Honorary Grand Marshal, John Urschel, the 2017 Grand Marshal, and President Eric Barron & his wife, Molly Barron. Beyond Penn State, key figures included Centre County Representative Scott Conklin, and Centre County’s three Commissioners: Michael Pipe, Steven Dershem, and Mark Higgins.
A large majority of the parade participants were Penn State chapters and organizations. Non-University Park chapters of PSU, individual colleges within Penn State, Greek Life organizations, and other student interest organizations, were all well-represented.
Students were joined by other State College residents, two groups coming together as active viewers of the parade. Viewers were cheering along the route, responding to the “We Are… Penn State!” chant with enthusiasm, and catching or picking up pieces of candy that were thrown from various floats.
The Underground asked several student viewers about why they chose to come out to the Homecoming Parade.
Adam Wheeler, a Junior in Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences said that ”This is my first semester up here, I just figured I’d come out and check it out and see what it is.” The parade was noticeable to everyone nearby, due to road closures, loud and spirited noise, and community promotion.
Some members of the community came to support specific organizations, such as Hannah Hentz. Hentz, a senior student in Education, explained that her sorority took part in the parade. “We have a float, it’s Pirates of the Caribbean. We’re Delta Phi Epsilon, so I just really wanted to see all the effort that my sisters put in this week.”
Toby Chan, an undergraduate student in Information Sciences and Technologies, responded to the question with “Just seeing all the clubs getting together. Seeing everyone having a fun time.”