Oct 032006
 
Authors: EMILY LANCE The Rocky Mountain Collegian

What do “Kong,” aspiring doctors and Angie Paccione have in common? The answer finds its roots in CSU’s tradition: CSU’s annual Homecoming Parade.

The university’s annual march of the green and gold starts at 9 a.m. on Saturday, beginning its course in Old Town Fort Collins and finishing at the Moby Arena parking lot.

Abe Bergan, a graduate student studying education, said that the Homecoming Parade is a part of CSU’s tradition and spirit.

“It has been going on since the beginning of this university. I think,” Bergan said.

Parade floats depict this year’s theme and promote positive relationships between community members, sports teams, outdoor activities, community service projects and community-wide events.

This Homecoming’s theme, “Rooted in Our Past and Growing Toward Our Future: A Celebration of History and Vision,” was loaned to CSU by Laurel Elementary School. The elementary school theme was created in celebration of its 100th anniversary.

“The theme seemed to work because it is perfect for Homecoming and people have a lot of opportunities (to work with it),” said Sonia Immasche, parade coordinator for the Alumni Association.

This year, Immasche said CSU student participation for the parade has increased significantly from previous years. She added that she was surprised at the turnout and hopes to receive even more entries in the week leading up to the parade.

“We have more campus floats than we’ve had in years,” Immasche said.

Among the entrees is the ASCSU Model A Ford that will be driving CSU’s top community leaders as nominated and selected by Sadie Conrad, ASCSU Vice President.

The Student Leadership and Civic Engagement float will be constructing a “Can Kong” to promote Cans Around the Oval, a food drive for the Larimer County Food Bank.

Also entered from CSU are Fashion Group International, seven university fraternities and sororities in cooperation with Habitat for Humanity, Collegiate 4-H and the CSU Hockey Club.

“There will still be plenty of poop,” Immasche said, referring to the Collegiate Horseman’s Association riding in the parade. The association’s participation only adds to the longest list of horse entries the parade has had in years.

Bergan is looking forward to the animals in this year’s parade, referring to it as a literal “dog and pony show.”

A variety of groups from the Fort Collins community are also getting involved, from the Down Syndrome Support Group to the Fort Collins Children’s Theatre.

Political candidate and issue entries are at an all-time high, representing the election season. Angie Paccione, Jerry Horack and a list of eight other political candidates have signed up. Four ballot issues will be marching to raise awareness for their cause, including the Libraries Yes Campaign and Coloradans For Fairness.

One group not marching the streets this year is the Shriners – the fez-wearing elderly men who drive in random patterns around the street in small cars. The group – a staple in the parade – will be on its retreat this year.

Kelli Wead, senior natural resources management major, said her most recent memory was Cam the Ram in the 2004 parade.

“(He) was peeing on something,” Wead said. “There is also a lot of community involvement, kids and families get involved, too.”

Staff writer Emily Lance can be reached at features@collegian.com.

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What: CSU’s Annual Homecoming Parade

Where: Beginning in Old Town and ending in Moby Arena parking lot

When: Saturday, Oct. 7, 9 a.m.

Last minute entry forms, a parade map and additional information can be found at www.homecoming.colostate.edu.

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