Led by Senator Jeanne Shaheen, the 2016 Homecoming parade is moving back to Main Street. According to Campus Activities Board (CAB) Director and Homecoming committee co-chair Billy Boyce, the student organization with the best parade float will win a $1,000 prize.
In previous years the parade has marched down Main Street, but due to the extensive planning and coordination it was moved to a smaller, more manageable campus route. This year however, in celebration of UNH’s 150-year anniversary the parade is moving back to Main Street to increase its presence and community involvement.
“I’m excited,” sophomore Jennie Fabiano said. Fabiano plans on attending the parade with her older sister. “I think it’s going to be a great way to show off school spirit and build community at UNH,” she said.
The parade on Friday, Oct. 1 begins at 5 p.m. in C-Lot. The procession will march down Quad Way and Main Street, ending its route on Edgewood Road. Marching with the Wildcats will be the Oyster River High School Band, Durham Community Church, St. George’s Episcopal Church and the famous L.L. Bean Boot truck. The deadline for anyone to sign up to participate in the parade was Monday, Sept. 26.
“We’ve [CAB] tried to extend the invite to as many people as possible,” Boyce said. “It’s important for everyone to participate.”
Twelve student organizations have signed up to march with floats in the homecoming parade so far. According to Boyce, Police Chief Paul Dean is the only confirmed judge to decide which student organization will take home the $1,000 prize, donated by Alumni Relations.
The Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS) will be marching in conjunction with the international student groups on campus. The group plans to parade down Main Street with a nine-foot inflatable globe to feature and celebrate the multi-nationalities on UNH’s campus.
“This is an opportunity for a lot of international students to participate in this American tradition [Homecoming] while taking part in community building,” OISS Associate Director Elizabeth Webber said.
The parade is expected to run for about 30 minutes, but it is not the only event Wildcats and community members can take part in to kick off Homecoming weekend. According to Boyce, there will be a barbeque, courtesy of UNH Hospitality Services, on Thompson Hall (T-Hall) Lawn following the parade, as well as a Community Fall Fest taking place from 3–7 p.m. on Scott Hall Lawn (Fish Bowl) with games, inflatables and live music. Leading up to Friday’s festivities CAB has organized Spirit Week with daily campus-wide activities that are free to all students.
“We’ve [CAB] worked with so many people to make these events happen,” Boyce said. “We wouldn’t be able to be here without them.”
A list of sponsors and collaborators, according to Boyce:
Hospitality Services (BBQ)
Durham Fire Department
UNH and Durham Police Department
UNH Grounds and Facilities
UNH President’s Office
Parking and Transportation