By Erika Kuehl | Staff Writer
It’s no secret that the Baylor Chamber of Commerce facilitates most of the preparation for homecoming weekend. However, most students don’t see their long days and hard work. Representatives from Chamber shed light on the process.
Katy junior Natalie Lewicki serves as the current homecoming chair and said Chamber has been preparing for the past 10 months.
“Every year, within the Baylor Chamber of Commerce, we appoint someone that is the homecoming chair for that year,” Lewicki said. “I received the position at the end of the year, right before Christmas, and so the planning started right at the beginning of January. It’s a lot of hard work and time and dedication, but it is very worth it.”
After Friday’s bonfire, Lewicki said Chamber doesn’t get a minute of shut-eye.
“We actually don’t sleep that night,” Lewicki said. “After the bonfire dies around 10:30 or 11 p.m., we start to clear out the area. We stay up all night, switching campus from homecoming to parade.”
According to Lewicki, Chamber is responsible for taking down the lights, preparing the stage for press and going to downtown Waco to ensure everything is ready for the floats.
China Spring senior Katelyn Wilmoth serves as the current homecoming parade chair and said her team will be up before the sun rises, at 2 a.m. Check-in for student organizations starts at 4:30 a.m.
“We know people can be grumpy in the mornings, so we’re hoping it goes smoother and almost welcoming in a way,” Wilmoth said. “We will have a little coffee food truck available for our participants so they can get a treat while they are waiting. And once the parade kicks off, we’re hitting the ground running.”
Wilmoth said she has thoroughly enjoyed her experience working with all of the student organizations during this process.
“I have absolutely loved it,” Wilmoth said. “Going out and doing inspections with everyone — it’s really cool. I get to know a few members from each organization and build those relationships with them, which is really sweet. I’ve really enjoyed getting to know all of the float chairs and everyone who’s involved in the parade.”
Wilmoth said she’s been attending the homecoming parade since she was little and had no idea it was completely student-run. She said her favorite part of her position has been seeing Baylor in a new light.
“I think for me, it’s just getting to be able to be in a spot where I get to know more of Baylor,” Wilmoth said. “I’ve gotten to contact so many Baylor faculty and staff, and I’ve also gotten to contact people through the City of Waco. I’ve gotten to build relationships with some pretty amazing people, and it’s just really cool seeing everything put together.”