BROOKINGS, S.D. (KELO) – Saturday is the biggest one day event in the Dakotas with the annual Hobo Day parade at South Dakota State University. KELOLAND News got a sneak peak of some of the parade floats ahead of the homecoming event.
Between 13,000 to 15,000 people line the streets of Medary and downtown Brookings to watch the student organizations, local marching bands and non-profit groups for the university’s homecoming.
“It’s so much fun to get together throughout the week and build a float with all of your friends, to figure out ‘How can we make this look good,’ ‘How can we advertise our clubs well?” Alexandra Johnson, president of the wildlife and fisheries conservation club said.
This year, the wildlife and fisheries club is partnering with four other clubs in the natural resource department to build their parade float.
“All of our club’s focus on conservation or building a natural landscape, or managing wildlife,” Johnson said. “We thought we’d just bring that all together to show how each piece of our department fits together to incorporate natural landscape.”
Marissa Vogt, president of the Hobo Day Committee, said her favorite part of Hobo Week is walking in the parade and seeing how all the student organization floats turned out. A special moment for the Hobo Day Committee is right after the parade is finished and the months of preparation pay off.
“I’m really excited to see all the floats that students have prepared, especially with our fantastic floats program,” Vogt said. “My favorite moment is at the end of the parade, because the week has passed and seeing the committee’s hard work shown off and they can get to take in the moment. Everyone is cheering for them along the parade route as well, it’s super fun.”
State-a-thon is a student organization that raises money for Children’s Miracle Network. The club participates in events throughout the year to raise money and awareness for cancer research. State-a-thon’s float theme this year is “All Aboard the Miracle Train.” There will be some children with the non-profit and their families who get to walk in the parade.
“I think getting to hype up those kids in any way that we can for them to not think about what disease or sickness they have is a good way to lift their spirits,” McKenna Sichmeller, the co-chair for State-a-thon, said.
The parade starts at 9:30 Saturday morning, with the sold out football game against the University of Northern Iowa to follow at 2 p.m.