Participants in this year’s Homecoming Parade will display their creative interpretations of cultural, generational and social connections in an attempt to bring home awards and prize money on Saturday.
Nineteen student clubs and other organizations will participate in this year’s parade competition, with each featuring its own interpretation of how we stay connected, said Samantha Adkins, senior Alumni Relations officer. The parade theme ties into the overarching 2010 Homecoming theme, “Connecting Across the Long Purple Line.”
“This year’s theme was harder to come up with, but I’m really excited to see how students use it,” Adkins said.
This year the parade contest will be slightly different from past years. Student organization entry fees are now $50, compared with last year’s $85. Social clubs are charged $1 per member and pledge competing in the parade. These changes should help keep prices from hindering participation, said Caroline Conwell, senior business management major from Atlanta and Homecoming steering committee member.
“We really want as many clubs and organizations to participate as possible,” Conwell said. “A set fee forÂ the clubs wasn’t the best method since some are smaller.”
Other changes in judging procedures aim to make competition more equal and include family members. Instead of individual judges, five different families selected from alumni and staff members will judge the floats.
“Because the parade is such a family event, what better way than to allow the entire family to judge,” Adkins said.
While there is no longer a grand-prize winner category, awards will still be given for best use of theme, best men’s club float, best women’s club float and best other organization. A sportsmanship winner, awarded by the Homecoming steering committee, will complete the prize categories this year.
The steering committee hopes this year’s Homecoming promotions in the Abilene community will encourage high attendance at Saturday’s parade.
“We’re hoping to have a lot of people turn out for different events,” Conwell said. “Hopefully more people from the community will come.”
Concurrent with this year’s themes, the parade provides opportunities for students and alumni to stay connected.
“It promotes organizations on campus if you want to get involved in one,” Conwell said. “For alumni, it’s fun to come back and see clubs and organizations you participated in.”
This year’s parade will begin at 9:30 a.m., leaving from ACU drive onto EN 16th Street. The parade will conclude by turning off of Campus Court onto Coliseum Way. Homecoming Chapel will follow afterward at 10:45 a.m. in Moody Coliseum.