VERMILLION, S.D. (KELO) – The University of South Dakota is celebrating this week as they bring back their Dakota Days activities. Last year, things like the football game and parade were cancelled because of COVID-19.
After not having many Dakota Days festivities last year, it’s expected to be a busy weekend in Vermillion.
“We’re seeing reunion groups, different affinity groups from really all across the country coming back and coordinating activities,” Alissa Matt, director of alumni engagement, said.
Students already had a whole week of events to celebrate homecoming, but this weekend the parade and football are back.
“It’s my third year here so just seeing the differences between pre-pandemic to just not having anything at all on campus, it’s just nice to finally, one, see faces and, two, be able to enjoy those spaces and events with the people and friends on campus,” student Aaron Mercado said.
“I’m hoping it gives home, if that’s a good way of saying it, just because USD campus is very diverse, you have people that come from all walks of life and I feel like if they can enjoy Dakota Days to just kind of come together and experience with their new friends and new traditions that they are experiencing with us,” Ashley Charlie, president of the Dakota Days committee said.
The alumni appreciation dinner is also back this year after being virtual last year.
“It’s homecoming,” Matt said. “It is that week, that time of year where our alumni and friends, community members, supporters of the university, have a chance to come back to campus to, in some cases, re-live their glory days and really celebrate their pride and affinity for the place that we all call home.”
Coyotes will be prowling the streets of Vermillion for a full-fledged Dakota Days once again.
The parade in downtown Vermillion starts at 9 tomorrow morning. Kick-off for the football game is at 2 p.m.