Homecoming Parade seeks more inclusiveness

Samuel Nusbaum, Administration Reporter

Homecoming is two weeks away, and with it participants in this year’s Homecoming parade will soon be marching through the streets of Charleston.

Applications to be in the parade from the community are due Friday. Student applications are due Tuesday, Oct. 11.

The theme for this year’s Homecoming is “No place like EIU,” which is a play on words from the phrase, “There’s no place like home,” from the movie “The Wizard of Oz.”

Homecoming festivities include the Homecoming Parade and the football game against Murray State University.

Titus Young, the graduate assistant helping with the Homecoming Parade, said he and his team meet weekly to go over logistics and applications, set up staging areas, and work with other departments, like the police and university communications to make sure everyone is on the same page.

“Every aspect of the parade, we are involved in,” Young said, “We meet weekly to make sure that the parade participants get their questions get answered.”

Young said a couple of student organizations have signed up to be part of the parade.

The parade sees over 100 entries between university groups and community participants.

Young said he and his group are looking to add a couple more groups to join in the parade, like motorcycle clubs and The Shriners, who are a Freemason splinter group who ride little scooters and wear fez hats.

Young said the community has more participants in the parade than the university does, and he wants to see that change.

There will be a parade subcommittee meeting 8 p.m. Tuesday in the Charleston/Mattoon room of the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union.

The parade route is the same as it was in the past. It will go from 7th Street, to around the downtown square, to 6th Street, then Polk Avenue, down Division Street before ending on Grant Street.

One of the student entries that will be participating in the parade is the service sorority Epsilon Sigma Alpha.

Epsilon Sigma Alpha will have a spirit banner for the parade that the women will walk with, but they will not be making a float since they do not have the time to make one, Emma Barth, one of Epsilon Sigma Alpha’s homecoming chairs, said.

Barth said the application process was initially confusing, but once the Homecoming packet was released, things went smoother.

Barth has walked along the parade in the past and said she enjoyed it.

“It was a lot of fun seeing all the different people and the impact that Eastern has on the Charleston community,” Barth said.

Samuel Nusbaum can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]