TERRE HAUTE —
Sycamore pride filled downtown Terre Haute on Saturday as the community joined in the events of Indiana State University’s 2013 Homecoming.
A huge crowd lined up along Ninth Street and into Wabash Avenue around 9 a.m. for the Blue and White Parade. This year’s theme was “Destination Blue, Back to ISU.”
The parade, now in its 97th year, featured 130 entries from various student and community groups. There were floats, banners and even costumes. It was led by grand marshal Jack Maynard, who recently retired after serving as ISU’s provost and vice president of academic affairs since 2003.
Several bands from Indiana schools —Terre Haute North Vigo High School, Terre Haute South Vigo High School, South Montgomery, Woodrow Wilson Middle School, Otter Creek Middle School and Sarah Scott Middle School — joined the Marching Sycamores in providing the music and “pageantry,” organizers said.
“Seven floats in the parade represent Greek organization pairings and are constructed by students,” according to ISU Communications and Marketing office.
Paula Meyer of the Communication and Marketing office said the parade, which lasted more than an hour and a half, is “one of the larger ones” for the annual event.
“It’s one of our pinnacle activities. ...It’s a great way to unite campus and community and bring home our alumni,” Meyer said as she stood along the parade route directing the participating groups.
The parade began at Ninth and Cherry streets in downtown Terre Haute. It ran west on Wabash Avenue to Fifth Street and ended on campus.
One alumna stood with her two children along Wabash Avenue.
Brittany Jones, a member of the class of 2006 said that it was her first time to attend the parade since her student years.
She came “to support ISU ... [and to] see the community come out and support.”
And it’s also an activity for 4-year-old Ryan, who picked up the candy that the people in the parade distributed. His sister, 11-month-old Emily, watched as she sat on her stroller.
“My son is old enough so he can enjoy. ... [he] loves the candy,” Jones said.
Another alumna, Carole Nasser, clapped as the parade went by.
“It brings tears to my eyes,” Nasser, a member of the class of 1974, said.
And she comes every year.
“This is our tradition. My dad brought me when I was a kid,” she said of attending the parade.
On Saturday, she brought along her 6-year-old grandson, Camden Bacon.
“It’s a great [family] tradition that has lasted. ... It’s a wonderful thing to pass down to [future] generations,” Nasser said.
Following the parade, the homecoming festivities continued at Memorial Stadium with Tent City, featuring live entertainment. At 3 p.m., ISU’s football team played Youngstown State.
The homecoming weekend events kicked off Friday with the 51st Sycamore Tricycle Derby.
The Distinguished Alumni Awards ceremony also took place Friday.
And the community joined in the celebrations.
The parade, in particular, was an opportunity to “showcase the spirit of what blue is and all things ISU,” Meyer said.
Tribune-Star Reporter Dianne Frances D. Powell can be reached at 812-231-4299 or firstname.lastname@example.org.