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Homecoming parade moved to Thursday, bonfire and pep rally added

Homecoming week will be a busy one on Marshall University’s Huntington campus.

Events are scheduled each day of the week (Oct. 18-24) for students, parents, alumni and community members as the campus prepares for the Marshall homecoming game vs. North Texas on Saturday, Oct. 24. The game is set to kick off at 3:30 p.m.

Marshall’s Student Government Association is once again organizing the annual Marshall University Homecoming Parade, which this year will be held on Thursday, Oct. 22.

Moving the parade from Saturday to Thursday evening will help with game-day traffic, allow the Thundering Herd football team to participate and make it possible for the university to add the bonfire and pep rally event to help boost the excitement of homecoming on campus, said Student Body President Duncan Waugaman.

“In the past, planning the parade on game day was tough,” Waugaman said. “The start time was dependent upon kickoff which sometimes isn’t known until about two weeks out. Plus, the parade can be a traffic nightmare on game day. Our students have been wanting a bonfire and by moving the parade, we were able to add the additional event. I can’t wait; I hope it becomes a homecoming tradition.”

Participants will line up at 5:30 p.m. at the intersection of 8th Street and 4th Avenue in downtown Huntington. The parade will begin at 6:30 p.m., heading east on 4th Avenue to 12th Street, where it turns right. It then turns left on 5th Avenue and finishes at 17th Street with a bonfire and pep rally celebration.

The bonfire will take place on the Harless Field immediately following the parade and will feature coach Doc Holliday, members of the 2015 Thundering Herd football team, the Marching Thunder, Marshall cheerleaders, dance team and everyone’s favorite bison, Marco.

The Campus Activity Board will be hosting Yell Like Hell, in which student organizations participating in the parade show their pride and see which group has the most spirit; and a burn shirt activity at the bonfire, in which students can bring shirts from rival schools to be burned in the bonfire. Fans will also have an opportunity to vote for their favorite student float. Following the completion of the bonfire, Marshall Athletics plans to kick off basketball season at the Rec Center with a basketball practice.

Marshall University Student Government is encouraging any organizations or local businesses who want to have a float in the parade this year to visit www.marshall.edu/homecoming to register.

The theme of homecoming this year is “Blast From the Past.” The week kicks off with the Color My College 5K on Sunday, Oct. 18, the annual Unity Walk on Tuesday, Oct. 20, and continues with the parade and bonfire on Thursday, followed by a soccer homecoming celebration on Friday and concludes with the homecoming game Saturday. Students are also encouraged to participate in Spirit Week with daily costume themes. View a full schedule of events at www.marshall.edu/homecoming.

Alumni can purchase tickets to the annual Alumni Tailgate Party through www.herdalum.com. The tailgate takes place on Harless Field beginning at 11 a.m. on Saturday.

Marshall University also welcomes parents and families to campus Oct. 22-25. To view a full schedule of events for Parent and Family weekend or for information on how to register, visit www.marshall.edu/parents.