Serving the Southern Illinois University community since 1916.

The Daily Egyptian

Serving the Southern Illinois University community since 1916.

The Daily Egyptian

Serving the Southern Illinois University community since 1916.

The Daily Egyptian

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Salukis On Parade; Homecoming Parade Preparation

SIU+marching+band+members+practice+their+parade+formation+for+the+upcoming+Homecoming+parade+Oct.+12%2C+2023+at+SIU+in+Carbondale%2C+Illinois
Dominique Martinez-Powell
SIU marching band members practice their parade formation for the upcoming Homecoming parade Oct. 12, 2023 at SIU in Carbondale, Illinois

Every year, SIU students, faculty and the Carbondale community gather to witness the annual Homecoming parade. This year’s event is taking place on the strip on Saturday.

“There’s open container during, starting at 9 a.m. that day, so local restaurants and stuff along the strip will be able to serve alcohol for the parade,” said Sean Cooney, assistant director of Student Engagement and Programming and Student Programming Council (SPC) advisor.

The parade tradition has been an important part of kicking off the Homecoming weekend and instilling spirit into Saluki fans before the big game. The tradition continues with the Homecoming candidates taking part in the parade before the royalty is announced at the football game.

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There will be a combination of campus and community groups walking and riding in the parade. Various organizations submit floats every year, and there will be different things to see. Groups will be handing out candy, t-shirts and other giveaways. Live music will be performed by the Marching Salukis along with other local marching bands.

The people participating in the parade have spent the fall prepping to give the crowd a show. Groups have hands-on experience working on building their floats and catering it to the theme of the parade.

The parade lineup will be announced after confirmation of what groups will be attending and showing their Saluki pride. The Office of Student Engagement is working diligently to create a lineup with a good mix of music and floats.

During the parade, the floats will be voted on by a panel of judges on theme.

“This year’s theme is ‘Saluki’s in Paradise,’ so there’ll be extra points given to people who hit the theme, so palm trees and beachy stuff,” Cooney said.

The fraternity Omega Delta has been working hard on matching their float to the theme. Greek life has been a part of the Homecoming parade since the beginning. All sororities and fraternities on campus work hard every year to compete for the best float.

“The process looks like brainstorming ideas for the theme. Once we choose the theme then we start creating a list of supplies and materials needed for the build,” said Matthew Crockett, treasurer of Omega Delta.

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Other sororities and fraternities have been working together to create an original float design to show their spirit. Sigma Alpha and Alpha Gamma Rho are working hand-in-hand to build their float. Members from both groups are meeting during the week to prepare for the parade.

Every group is spending the week leading up to parade meeting nightly to work on the building of their floats. All hands are on deck to create something that will “wow” the judges and support SIU school spirit.

“The idea is that everyone contributes to building the float. We are expecting this year’s float to take around two to three days to build, working on it for about two hours every night,” Crockett said.

All the handmade floats will be featured at the Homecoming parade on Saturday morning, which is the traditional lead-in to the football game that afternoon.

Staff reporter Alli Goering can be reached at [email protected]

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