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Tips For The Homecoming Parade

The homecoming parade has been a State College tradition for quite some time. However, for many of the new freshman at Penn State, this will be their first parade and most likely have no idea what to expect. Luckily, Onward State has your back. Here are some pro tips:

  • Don’t be fashionably late. I understand that it’s cool for kids to be late for things these days. It’s natural; no one wants to be the “first one there.” However, get to the parade at least an hour to half an hour early. That way, you’re able to pick out a spot that doesn’t involve peering around a 6’5 kid for three hours. The floats start rolling at 6 p.m., so plan accordingly.
  • Bring a chair. I know what you’re thinking: “But folding chairs are for campfires and soccer moms!” This parade is the exception. Don’t get me wrong; parades are fun. But standing for two hours straight will get a little tiring. If you’re really feeling the whole folding chair thing, you can set your chairs along the route starting early on Friday.
  • Wear a jacket. And for that matter, dress in warm clothes. There is a low of 52 degrees tonight (yes, I actually checked) and that will be feeling really cold when the parade is an hour in. Don’t be ashamed about bringing a warm jacket, beanie, and gloves. You’ll be laughing at those who didn’t bring theirs later.
  • Bring a swag bag. Yes, a swag bag. The different floats will be throwing  goodies to the parade watchers throughout the night. Nothing screams “amateur hour” more than a guy who can only fit 3 tootsie rolls in his pockets because he forgot to bring a swag bag. If you’re going to steal candy from children, at least have something to put it in.
  • Go with people who actually want to be there. This may be obvious, but if any of your friends just hate parades, don’t go with them. Hanging out with a Debbie Downer at a parade that is supposed to be fun is going to make your experience a living hell.
  • Know when the streets will be closed. For obvious reasons, some streets will be closed during the period. If you have to drive tonight, it’s good to know when might be a bad time. Here is a link to the road closings and times.
  • Go to the pep rally. I know no one actually cares about Homecoming court or the King and Queen, but Bill O’Brien is speaking at the pep rally after the parade at Rec Hall, which is something we can all get behind.

Obviously, these aren’t all the important tips for the parade, but it’s definitely a good start. Follow these tips and you are sure to have a solid parade experience. As always, suggest other tips you may have in the comments.

Here’s a map of the parade route for those interested:

View Parade Map in a larger map

For those of you not in State College, a Live Stream of the Homecoming Parade is posted on

About the Author

Greg Schlosser

Greg is a senior majoring in energy engineering at Penn State. He is a big fan of Pittsburgh sports and sandwiches with coleslaw and french fries. You can email him at [email protected] or find him at the Phyrst drunkenly requesting the band to play "One Headlight."


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