Homecoming parade Friday takes place in new format

NMU+Homecoming+Parade

This year’s theme for the parade – “All Things Michigan”. Photo courtesy of Northern Michigan University

Jesse Wiederhold

It’s that time of year again – homecoming. Football games are out of the question due to COVID-19, but events are still underway this week. Perhaps the most important of all is the NMU Homecoming parade, happening this Friday, Sept. 25. Come join in on the fun and see a recurring tradition at NMU.

The Homecoming parade begins Friday at 3 p.m. in the parking lot of the PEIF. This year the decision was made to hold a “reverse parade”. This means that parade participants remain stationary through NMU parking lots near the PEIF, and students or members of the community are to walk or drive through to “watch.” 

This is likely to avoid the congestion of a more popular road and to avoid unnecessary community spread of COVID-19.

Contestants who have already registered their floats must check-in by 2 p.m. with the Special Events Committee on site. If participants fail to do so and do not end up in their specified spots at the correct time, they will be disqualified, according to NMU’s official homecoming parade rule document.

Also, keep in mind that things are a bit different this year. Everyone must wear a mask, and social distancing is encouraged. 

This year’s theme is “All Things Michigan, with a focus on popular Michigan wonders,” according to the official homecoming parade rule document. This could be creatively manifested in a few ways, from the beautiful shores to the immersive nature found in abundance in Michigan. Bigfoot, lighthouses – anything like that to the best pizzas in town appears to fit this criterion.

According to the rules, judges will make decisions on the winning cut-outs and diorama designs based on a few factors. For example, “does it look good? Does it go with the Homecoming theme? Is it something out of the ordinary?” and finally extra points can be “awarded for movable parts, gimmicks, meeting size requirements, etc,” states the document. This list is not entirely inclusive of all the rules, and that full list can be found on the document link above.

Something important for an event of this type is to plan for inclement weather, just in case. It would be preferable to have beautiful weather, but the rules state there will be no sympathy points if it ‘rains on your parade.’

First place winners can expect a prize of $200, second at $125 and third will receive $75.

If students cannot attend the parade, there is still more fun to be had during this homecoming week.

Come and see “Twilight” playing at The Shoreline Theatre, the new drive-in theater behind the Superior Dome. September is almost over, which means two things. One, the snow is coming so check out the drive-in before it’s too late. Secondly, it’s almost spooky season and “Twilight” is a wise choice to dip into the Halloween spirit.

In conclusion, clear Friday, Sept. 25’s evening schedule. Then, mask up and enjoy NMU students’ creative and expressive work at NMU’s annual Homecoming parade, in the PEIF parking lot at 3 p.m.