The Homecoming Parade and Float Competition will make its return as the precursor to the homecoming football game against the University of South Florida Saturday at 9 a.m. located along 5th Street from Hilltop Street to Evans Street.
The parade will include a variety of groups walking, riding in cars and in traditional floats, according to the Homecoming parade lead with the Student Activities Board, Molly Roth. Those in the floats not only have the parade itself to worry about, but also the first round of judging for the float competition which occurs before the parade even begins.
“The judges will be there before the parade begins to judge the floats up-close and then during the parade they’ll judge them again as well as judge for like the spirit of the orgs,” Roth said. “We didn’t always do that (the second judging), but sometimes orgs would come show up with only like two or three people and just walk down with that. We needed a way to entice them to get more people to come out and get excited.”
According to this year’s Homecoming information packet, floats must incorporate this years theme, Cirque de Pirates, this year’s opponent for the homecoming game, USF, and of course ECU pride. The winners of the parade and the spirit cup will be announced at the Homecoming game, Roth said.
The Chi Omega sorority placed second in last year’s float competition but senior elementary education major and Chi Omega campus activities director, Taylor Collins, said that the competition is not the main motivator for their participation every year.
“There is really no motivation other than having to win that money for our philanthropy and getting to experience the bonding,” Collins said. “Because like I said a lot of the freshman girls participate and they have just gone through recruitment so not all of them know each other so this is a good time to get to know each other and bond with each other.”
However, the parade has more to offer than floats alone. Senior dance and English education major Lauren McKee is a member of the East Carolina Dance Association, which is a program comprised of ECU dance majors and combines dance with community outreach. She said she loves how the parade brings all of the ECU community together.
“I know when we’ve done the parade in the past we see maybe like older, maybe previous ECU students with their kids who watch the parade, they always love the dance people. So I think it just kind of brings everyone together,” McKee said.
Roth said that she hopes that this community feeling reaches even outside of the university.
“I really want it to be more of a community event. That’s something that I’ve really been working toward, getting the City of Greenville involved more because the school is part of the heart of Greenville so it would be nice if we could get more community participation,” Roth said.