Rain does not dampen homecoming celebration


Karina Delgado

Members of Eastern’s homecoming court wave from their float during the homecoming parade on Saturday. Homecoming King is Isaiah McClaine, Queen is Brittany Britton, Prince is Chateau Fouchea and Princess is Diana Argueta.

Corryn Brock, News Editor

Rain left parade walkers, floats, and attendees soaking wet Saturday morning. 

Despite the rain students, faculty, staff and community members came out to show their support for the various groups represented in the parade. 

Hope Ballinger, a senior general studies major, said the rain could not keep her from the parade. 

“Rain or shine I was going,” Ballinger said. “It’s not ideal but it’s great because everyone still showed up.” 

June Ground, a retired Eastern’s mathematics professor from Mattoon, said she came because of her ties to the university. 

“I’m really interested in Eastern. I got my Bachelor’s here, I got my Masters here, and I taught as a math instructor here for about 17 years,” Ground said. 

Ground said she was happy to see that the parade was going on regardless of poor weather. 

“I think that it’s nice that they are doing it anyways even if the weather is this bad,” Ground said. 

Ground said she was surprised to see the people in the parade throwing candy with so much rain. 

“There’s nobody around here sitting and watching next to the parade and if they’re trying to throw candy and things it’ll be hard to pick it up,” Ground said. 

Bennita McDonald of Charleston said she enjoyed attending the parade with her son. 

“I live right (next to the parade route) and I was trying to sleep but it woke me up, and I work at the Villas of Hollybrook so I wanted to see their big, nice float,” McDonald said. 

McDonald’s son, Adrien Collins, said his favorite part of the parade was the candy. 

“My son collecting all of the candy is a fun part for him, for me it’s nice to see the community coming together and going out even though it’s raining,” McDonald said. 

While the number of parade-watchers seemed to be lower than in years passed, many people still stuck it out to watch the parade. 

Ground sat under an overhang at Old Main to stay dry while watching the parade and noticed others attempting do the same. 

“As much as I can see it from here, it’s fine. I’ve never seen so many umbrellas in my time,” Ground said. 

Ground was in the marching band in 1953 and said she was reminiscing on her time with the band. 

“I played in Eastern’s band in 1953 but we when had our Homecoming it was a good day,” Ground said. “It’s been interesting just to see who’s in the parade, I thought that the band was doing a good job of trying to play despite all (of the rain).” 

Gabrielle Horn, an elementary education major and a member of the Panther Marching Band said it was difficult marching in the rain. 

“(The hardest part of the parade was) being soaked, cold and wet,” said Horn. “It was horrible.” 

Horn added that marching for the football game was a much better experience. 

Another change Ground said she noticed was the variety of people participating in the parade. 

“At first I think they had more people that made actual floats and now I see that there are a lot more people with vehicles advertising,” Ground said. 

The parade had over 100 entries though some groups chose to not participate in the parade due to the poor weather. 

Corryn Brock can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]