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Marshall homecoming parade thunders through downtown

Oct. 06, 2013 @ 08:49 AM

HUNTINGTON — The sounds of “Sons of Marshall,” thundered across downtown Saturday morning as parade watchers young and old reveled in Marshall University’s Homecoming celebration.

Enthusiasm intensified as the 65-unit parade made its way east on 4th Avenue, before turning onto 12th Street and 5th Avenue on its way past fraternity row, the Memorial Student Center and toward Joan C. Edwards Stadium.

Kathryn McDowell, 66, was among those dressed head to toe in kelly green and white. The Cincinnati woman graduated from Marshall in 1970 and cannot recall missing a homecoming parade.

“The parade is awesome,” she said. “It is kind of prelude to the game itself … It sets the tone and the mood.”

Like McDowell, many others blanketed portions of the sidewalk in green and white. They included little girls in cheerleader uniforms, boys in football jerseys. Such was the case for Natasha Rayl of Huntington, who stood at Corbly Hall with her 5-year-old daughter and 3-week-old son.

“I just want to do something for them, especially for her,” she said of her daughter. “She wants to be a Marshall cheerleader so it’s exciting.”
Miss West Virginia and Marshall graduateMiranda Harrison, fresh off her appearance at last month’s Miss America competition, was among those excited to participate in this year’s parade.

“I’m bleeding green,” she said. “I have watched this Homecoming parade since I was 4 years old. I remember sitting on the side in my little cheerleader uniform, and to be a part of this now is a dream come true.”

Cameron Wadley watched Harrison’s ride, area bands and several floats pass by his spot at outside the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity house. His brothers started the morning with a traditional bloody mary breakfast, all part of a weekend that welcomed some 60 fraternity alums dating back to the 1940s.

“I love it,” said Wadley, a former band member in reference to his sidewalk view. “Anytime you have school spirit rallied, it’s going to be a good time.”

The parade is coordinated by the Marshall University Student Government Association. Student Body President E.J. Hassan said organizers are largely satisfied with this year’s turnout saying 65 units matched that of last year, a threshold sustained in a non election year.
“This is our opportunity members of the Huntington and Marshall community together,” he said.

Carolyn Welder stood post within a block or so of 20th Street. She did so with her white flag and its green letter “M” proudly hoisted in the air, a throw back to her daughters time in the marching band from 1991. She particular enjoys all of the parade’s aspects, from the bands to older vehicles.

“You see everything that brings back such wonderful memories from days gone by,” she said. “It’s just like a congregation of everything that you’ve ever thought about in your whole life and that Marshall has been here.

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