By Igor Stepczynski | Broadcast Reporter
Baylor celebrated 110 years of floats, balloons and passionate alumni this past Saturday. The oldest and largest homecoming parade in the country started in downtown Waco on Austin Avenue and ended on Speight Avenue on campus.
While homecoming is usually associated with college students and alumni appreciating their university’s legacy, it also attracts another age group that looks for something just as sweet.
Hundreds of children got an early bird wake-up call by their parents and family on the morning of the parade. They came dressed to the occasion with bear hats, bear claws and gold pom-poms. These kids didn’t have to know what Baylor even was to be fueled with excitement and enthusiasm. All that they needed to know was that there would be candy.
While children along the downtown port of the route got their sweet sugar rush, the children waiting on campus were faced with a bitter dilemma.
Many of the floats ran out of candy by the time they made it on campus. A child from the Ganz and Walker family said this shortage was unacceptable.
“Well, candy is all about candy. Parades are all about candy. Everything’s about candy, bum! You hear me?”
Another child from the same family said that even when there was candy, the candy thrown wouldn’t land behind the rope.
One kid who didn’t have a sugar crash was 3-year-old Brooks Lee Crowell from Shreveport, La. Brooks proudly wore a vintage mini Baylor bomber jacket that his father wore when he was 3-years-old.
He was more captivated by the homecoming football game that day than the parade itself.
“My mom said that when I grow up I can play football,” Crowell said.
Brooks was rather unfazed by the shortage of candy, but didn’t like the fact that the Baylor bear mascot wasn’t a polar bear.
“I wanted him to be white,” Crowell said with his head down and lips pouted.
At then end of the day, two lessons were learned from the 2019 homecoming parade: the floats must increase their candy inventory and the true sweetness of Baylor homecoming comes from being surrounded by strangers who are always willing to throw a sic ‘em in the air. That’s a great university legacy that all ages can enjoy.