Community reacts to parade cancellation
Claire Stilwell traveled all the way from New Jersey to Bloomington to attend her daughter’s last IU Homecoming.
She discovered that one of the major parts of the Homecoming tradition, the parade, would not happen this year.
This was the first time in 54 years IU did not have a parade to celebrate Homecoming
The IU Alumni Association, IU Student Alumni Association and Union Board made a change in the typical Homecoming events by organizing a free concert at Dunn Meadow with pop rock band South Jordan and local singer and songwriter Zach Majors.
“We were trying to put on a concert while serving as a pep rally for tomorrow’s game,” Mike Hammersley, director of the Homecoming concert for SAA, said Friday
J.T. Forbes, executive director and CEO of IUAA, said in a press release the new approach allowed alumni to soak in the campus atmosphere during Homecoming weekend.
“We are aiming to make Homecoming week a memorable experience for Hoosier faithful of all stripes and tastes,” Forbes said. “No matter the event, expect one common element: Hoosier spirit.”
Students and parents expressed disappointment at the cancellation of the parade.
“I think it’s always a nice tradition to have a Homecoming parade,” Stillwell said. “In the past, the parade hasn’t got enough support.”
Junior Chandlar Smith was surprised the parade would not take place this year.
“I think the parade gets the town really involved,” Smith said. “It’s sad that it was cancelled.”
Junior Scott Diebel said he believed there must have been a reason for the cancellation.
“It’s a shame because there is so much tradition in the Homecoming parade, but I’m sure the choice was made after careful consideration,” Diebel said.
Kasie Kyle,director of Live from Bloomington, the local music committee for Union Board, said SAA and Union Board were determined to plan a Homecoming event in place of the parade.
“This was Union Board and SAA’s effort to give students something to do on Friday night that was a celebration of Homecoming week,” Kyle said.
On Friday morning, the location of the concert was changed to the north dining hall of McNutt Quad due to a forecast of rain.
Max Long, assistant guest services manager for IU Event Services, said they used social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter inform students of the change in venue.
“We did a walkthrough and made sure everyone knew what the rules and guidelines were,” Long said. “Then, it was basically getting the equipment in and informing everyone that the location had been moved.”
Despite the change in location, Event Services said about 250 people came to support the IU cheerleaders and members of the Homecoming court.
The cheerleaders pumped up the crowd in anticipation of the Homecoming game.
Sophomore quarterback Tre Roberson urged the crowd to support the football team.
The IU Student Athletic Board crowned Chris Port and Amanda Malkowski Homecoming king and queen, respectively.
“I thought it was a really good turnout, considering the conditions,” Port said. “It’s always good to see school spirit, especially during Homecoming week.”
Although the event was not as originally planned, Kyle described it as a great night.
“For it being a rainy, dreary night and since we had to change the location the day of, it’s great that this many people showed up with how short notice they had in change of location,” Kyle said.
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