Thursday, October 21, 2021

MSU Homecoming Parade hits streets for first time since 2018

October 2, 2021
Parade spectators reaching for the tossed candy at the MSU Homecoming parade on October 1, 2021, on Farm Lane in East Lansing.
Parade spectators reaching for the tossed candy at the MSU Homecoming parade on October 1, 2021, on Farm Lane in East Lansing. —
Photo by Lauren Snyder | The State News

Michigan State University’s annual homecoming parade was canceled in 2019, due to severe weather conditions. 

In 2020, it was canceled due to COVID-19.

After two straight years of cancelations, Friday’s homecoming parade was held in person; students, staff, alumni and community members showed up to watch and participate.

The parade began at the Hannah Community Center and traveled along Abbot Road to campus where it ended at the corner of Farm and Shaw Lane. 

This year’s homecoming parade theme was “Spartans Journey Together.”

Parade participants included Grand Marshall Dr. Barbara Ross-Lee, MSU President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., Athletic Director Alan Haller, Sparty, MSU Women’s Head Basketball Coach Suzy Merchant, along with the Men’s and Women’s basketball teams, the MSU Marching Band and countless MSU clubs and organizations. 

Psychology junior Lydia LaFrance walked in the parade with the MSU Polo Club. 

Before the parade began, LaFrance discussed what she was excited to see.

“I’m looking forward to seeing all the different clubs,” LaFrance said. “I only had like a semester at college before COVID happened so I didn’t really get to see much. I’ve been here three years and nothing has gone on, so I feel like it will be good to see everyone back together.”

The East Lansing Roller Derby was another organization that participated in the parade. Derby members roller-skated along the parade route with their roller skate-shaped float. 

Spanish and secondary education senior Elizabeth Tweadey was one of the derby members who participated. 

“I’m looking forward to giving ELRD some exposure, and seeing all of the people in person again,” Tweadey said. “Just like having a parade again is very exciting after the COVID times.”

Microbiology sophomore Morgan Jones volunteered during the parade and was stationed along Abbot Road to help ensure parade spectators stayed safe. 

“(Volunteering has been) pretty good,” Jones said. “(My duty was to) walk along the route, find a place to hang out, as long as someone else in the green (volunteer) shirt is within eye distance.”

Jones said she was looking forward to seeing the horses during the parade. 

MSU’s 2021 Homecoming Week will conclude Oct. 2 with a football game between the Michigan State Spartans and the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers at Spartan Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.



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