2016 Homecoming Parade Brings The Best Penn State Traditions
by Robbie Rockwell and Allison Wulfhorst
Penn State’s Homecoming Parade was filled with a variety of clubs and organizations that represented their respective groups with unique floats and various props. From Greek life to sports to alumni associations from around the country, the parade had a little bit of everything, all showing off Penn State pride.
The festivities began with local radio stations like B94.5 followed by groups of dancers and different branches of the military ROTC program. The Army ROTC started off, marching and chanting, with the Marines and Air Force ROTC close behind. They received a large applause with many members of the crowd thanking them for their service.
Different colleges like Eberly College of Science and College of Agriculture made appearances along with many chapters under the Alumni Association. Student organizations like Homecoming (the Executive Committee), UPUA, and THON were all represented — the latter of which did the 2016 line dance while displaying the recently announced theme for THON 2017: Igniting Hope Within. The Lion Ambassadors and Blue and White Society had no question the best float of night, riding on a paper-machete and chicken wire rendition of Rec Hall and sporting black and pink S-Zone shirts (which will make an appearance at today’s game as well).
Some sports teams like the Men’s Gymnastics, Lady Lions, and Club Swimming represented the athletic side of Penn State. The Gymnastics team impressed with a pommel horse on their float, performing stunts while even while the float was moving.
Floats like the Nittany Cruiser and The Button Man stood out because so many people recognize them. The Nittany Cruiser represents one of our favorite football weekend pastimes: tailgating. The Button Man showed how much we appreciate Citizen Bank’s witty collaboration to make the best enemy-themed buttons around.
Fraternities and sororities paired up to create their themed floats. The themes ranged from Disney, including Aladdin (Sig Mu), Star Wars (Phi Sigma Kappa and dance group, Peace Love Lyrical), High School Musical, (Theta Chi and Gamma Sigma Sigma), and Peter Pan (Alpha Kappa Delta and Tapestry). There was also the Wizard of Oz (Chi Phi, Triangle, and Phi Sigma Rho), Circus (PSDA and Alpha Kappa Epsilon), and one of our personal favorites, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (Alphi Chi Rho, and Whiplash). Despite outrageous effort on some, a notable amount of floats really seemed to miss the mark, with multiple groups riding around on half-finished or sloppy creations, without members standing on the floats, or members just sitting down and looking at their phones which made the floats, overall, mediocre and lackluster.
Homecoming Grand Marshall Joel Myers cruised by in a convertible, waving to the large crowd, and receiving lots of cheers. The Homecoming Court also got to experience the parade in convertibles, except for Jimmy Frisbie who marched it in his usual position in front of the Blue Band. Speaking of the Blue Band, the group was the last to come through, playing a lively combination of Penn State fight songs and an awesome drumline cadence.
Here comes the Blue Band! pic.twitter.com/SBxBkEd2BC
— Onward State (@OnwardState) October 8, 2016
The rain held out for the parade, which was exciting and prideful as ever. Plus, free candy.