By Seth Jones | Reporter
As a part of Baylor’s homecoming celebration, the homecoming parade annually presents a fun and family-friendly atmosphere for those on and off of Baylor’s campus. The Baylor homecoming parade will take place at 8 a.m. Saturday.
The first-ever Baylor homecoming parade was conducted in 1909, and much of the community joined in on the celebration.
“From the beginning,” a history of the homecoming parade on the Baylor website reads, “the Baylor Homecoming Parade was a first-class extravaganza of color that featured bands, horse-drawn carriages and wagons, student and civic organizations, and a stream of dignitaries.”
The 2016 installment looks to maintain that same level of pride and school spirit but with a more modern look.
While Baylor looks to celebrate the homecoming parade tradition, the parade is also a great way for the surrounding communities of Waco to get involved. Silsbee senior Nolan Payton said he sees the parade as an opportunity for the Baylor family to reach out to Waco and to provide a unique setting for family and friends to gather.
“[The parade] definitely brings the community together,” Payton said. “The parade is great in the sense that it brings people together and you can be interactive. You get to talk to your family and friends right in the middle of the parade.”
The parade has tied Waco and Baylor together since very early in its history. According to wacohistory.org, even since the very first parade, the local community has rallied support for the event, whether that be through small businesses or citizens of Waco and the surrounding area.
“Shopkeepers and restaurant owners downtown decorated their storefronts with green and gold and joined the throng lining the streets as the parade passed through downtown,” Brandice Nelson said in an article she wrote entitled Baylor Homecoming Parade on wacohistory.org.
Aspen Co., senior and Delta Delta Delta’s head float chair Lindsey Herndon described her excitement for the homecoming parade because of its rich history as well as its ability to bring the community together.
“[The parade] is so important to the university, and it’s gone on for so many decades. It’s such a great thing to be able to contribute to,” Herndon said. “It’s a tradition that Waco holds, not only Baylor. Having the parade go through downtown kind of ties everything together.”