The 2019 Blue and White parade marched off Saturday, Oct. 12 with Sycamore students and Terre Haute natives walking through downtown. This homecoming parade started at Ninth and Cherry Street, and followed the path to Wabash Avenue to Fifth Street. It is the nation’s longest running student-run parade, annually scheduled since 1919.
There was an increase of police presence and enforcement to make the parade more family-friendly and safe, since there occasional fights broke out in previous years. A student-input problem based learning course to help solve the fighting problem and the shooting that happened on ‘The Walk’ last year. The course, led by Dr. Darlene Hantzis, provided a number of recommendations that were incorporated into this year’s parade, as evidenced by the increased joint presence of both the Indiana State University and Terre Haute Police Departments along the bar crawl and at Tent City.
Indiana State’s president, Deborah J. Curtis, rode through the parade, following a long line of cars that included sports teams and pageant winners. Miss Indiana, Tiarra Taylor, even made an appearance as the leader of the Blue and White parade. The Homecoming Court walked in the parade, with hopefuls Amber Drake, Breeze Keppy, Jeremiah Harding, Melanie Roberts and Braelyn Wence. The winners of king and queen for the year were announced at the football game against Western Illinois later that day.
The parade offered a diverse set of organizations, some clubs and sports from ISU like the Women’s Basketball Team, and some Terre Haute organizations like our very own WTHI-TV 10 news station. There were clowns, go-karts and even dance teams putting on a performance for the crowd. Local firemen rode their own fire truck and threw candy to the children watching.
Organizations at Indiana State, most notably Greek life, decorated golf carts in the theme of homecoming, which was “Bluechella.” Some carts were decorated as blue Volkswagen buses, while others were filled with glitter and streamers to celebrate the California-based music festival. This year’s theme opened up a plethora of ideas for the golf carts and festivities, as music blared and candy was thrown to the spectators.
“It was super cold, but I’m glad I got to share it with my sisters with Chi Omega cheers and throwing candy to happy kids,” said Savannah Shelton about her first homecoming parade.
The Marching Sycamores made an appearance, playing only the Indiana State Fight Song.
“It’s super cold but still fun to see everyone as I’m marching and have them call out my name and cheer me on,” said marching band member, Carol Schumacher.
Terre Haute natives and Sycamore students attended the Blue and White Homecoming Parade to watch the display of Sycamore pride. Alumni came to support current students in the parade to show their spirit, and future sycamores came to experience the pride of Big Blue.