Homecoming Parade brings students, community together

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The streets will be lined this weekend as BYU alumni, fans and students await the annual Homecoming Parade to round the corner.

The parade will make its way through Provo on Saturday morning, Oct. 15, as it has each year over the past several decades.

The 2016 Homecoming Parade Route will began in the Marriott Center east parking lot and end at the Smith Fieldhouse. A free pancake breakfast will be located at every announcer station. (BYU)

While the parade may only last a morning, a BYUSA team has prepared for months to keep the tradition thriving. The student leadership office has been in charge of the parade for the past 18 years, and this year’s team has been planning since June.

Tanner Frederiksen, the student lead for the Homecoming Parade, said the planning process is extensive. The city of Provo has to grant a permit at least 90 days before the event, and the team had to contact every business on the parade route about street closures.

The parade currently has 64 entries, including cars, floats and students from various organizations walking or performing. President and Sister Worthen will be near the beginning of the parade. This year’s Grand Marshals are Olympians Jared Ward and Tatenda Tsumba, an adjunct statistics professor and a BYU junior on the men’s track team.

Y-Serve, Student Alumni, the BYU Hockey Team, the Ballroom Dance Company and the Longboard Club are just a few of the campus organizations that will be represented on Saturday.

The parade is intended to unify the BYU community and reach out to the local community. Frederiksen said his team has contacted almost every campus entity and local organization about the parade.

BYUSA
The BYU Ballroom Dance Team will perform again at this year’s Homecoming parade, alongside many other campus organizations. (BYUSA)

Frederiksen also said he and his team have recruited at every parade this year. He attended the Pioneer Day and Fourth of July parades and invited participants to come to BYU.

There will also be a free pancake breakfast at four locations: the Botany Pond, the bottom of the Maeser stairs, near the Creamery on Ninth, and the Cougar Dental Center south of campus.

BYUSA activities coordinator Laura Burgi said it has been an exciting event to work on. This is her first year putting on the parade.

“It has been a great experience. It is such a fun tradition that I am pleased to be a part of,” she said. “I’m excited to see the students and alumni come out to celebrate their school.”

Carson Telford, another student working on the parade, had to connect local businesses and alumni with the opportunity to participate in the parade. He, Burgi, Frederiksen and fellow team member Cordell Cox worked hundreds of hours making this event come together.

“I really enjoyed working with campus entities and alumni,” Telford said. “The alumni care so much about the university. It’s really inspiring.”

Frederiksen said his team’s hard work was worth the effort.

“It has been a lot more stressful than I anticipated but so rewarding,” Fredericksen said. “It’s such a big event that touches so many parts of the BYU community. It’s been incredible to work with everyone.”

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