IUP’s annual Homecoming celebration, September 30–October 2, is expected to draw thousands to Indiana for alumni reunions and events for the entire community, including the Pregame in the Oak Grove festival, the parade, and football game.
The Homecoming parade, with a theme of “Classic Video Games,” will start at 10:00 a.m. October 1. It will feature more than seventy campus and community units, including five that are part of the float competition: Pac-Man, Sonic Hedgehog, Donkey Kong, Mario Bros., and Legend of Zelda.
The parade will start at Thirteenth and Philadelphia streets and travel east to Sixth and Philadelphia streets, south on Sixth Street to Church Street, west on Church Street to Oakland Avenue, and southwest on Oakland Avenue to Eleventh Street, where the parade will disband. All motor-driven floats will continue southwest on Oakland Avenue to the Robertshaw building for disassembly.
Firing of the Department of Military Science’s howitzer cannon, which will be near the Indiana County Court House, will signal the start of the parade.
Immediately following the parade, more than one hundred volunteers from IUP’s sororities and fraternities will work to clean the parade route and Mack Park, where the floats are being constructed.
Three members of IUP’s class of 1961 will serve as grand marshals for this year’s parade: Marjorie Turley Nelson, originally of Indiana and now of Youngwood; Betty Jo Madden Carter, of Glenshaw; and Don Ficco, of Johnstown. The choosing of grand marshals from the fiftieth reunion class is an eleven-year tradition at IUP.
Carter, a retired elementary school teacher and the mother of two sons, was IUP’s 1960 Homecoming queen. Ficco, who retired from GP Utilities, was a class officer during his time at IUP and was a member of the TKE fraternity. Nelson retired from her work in the Hempfield Area School District in 1994 and then taught at Seton Hill University.
Six marching bands will be in the parade, representing these schools: Homer-Center High School, IUP, Indiana Area Senior High School, Marion Center Area High School, Purchase Line High School, and Saltsburg High School.
IUP’s Homecoming representatives, the Crimson Court, will also be in the parade.
The Crimson Court program, now in its second year, consists of seven students chosen by a universitywide vote to represent each of the colleges at IUP, as well as the Punxsutawney campus. To qualify for the Crimson Court, students must have a minimum 3.0 cumulative grade-point average and be in good judicial standing at IUP.
Crimson Court members will be invited to participate in all universitywide Homecoming activities and will be featured at appropriate academic department and college events.
The following students were selected for the first Crimson Court at IUP:
Presentation of the parade float prizewinners will be held in the Oak Grove at 11:45 a.m.
Judges for the float competition are Claire Hogan, of Indiana, a former Indiana Borough Council member; Michael Hood, dean of the College of Fine Arts; Beth Plakidas, IUP student; and Sherry Renosky, IUP alumna and marketing manager of the Indiana Mall.
Float awards and their sponsoring organizations are as follows: first place, $1,000, IUP Alumni Association; second place, $900, Indiana Mall Association; third place, $800, Co-op Store; fourth place, $700, Student Government Association; fifth place, $600, Foundation for IUP; and sixth place, $500, American Water.
Renda Broadcasting will broadcast live from the parade, and IUP-TV will air video coverage later in October.
For the fifth year, the parade route includes the Oak Grove as a spectator area and is the site of the Pregame in the Oak Grove festival, free and open to all members of the community. The festival will be from 10:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and includes the Kidz Karnival. Organized by the IUP Ambassadors student group, this festival features a variety of children’s activities, with cartoon characters, games, crafts, and prizes.
The Pregame in the Oak Grove also will offer food from different vendors throughout the region, music by marching bands from the parade, music by a disc jockey, and the chance to have photos taken with the IUP cheerleaders and Norm, the mascot for the Crimson Hawks athletic teams.
This year, the traditional Homecoming Crimson Huddle alumni pregame party, open to all alumni and friends, will be from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. in the Kovalchick Convention and Athletic Complex.
The Center for Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine—Indiana Total Therapy will be a cosponsor with the IUP Alumni Association for the pregame party. Cost is $12 for adults and $6 for children ages five to twelve. Children younger than age five are admitted free.
The Homecoming football game begins at 2:00 p.m., with the Crimson Hawks facing Edinboro University of Pennsylvania.
The Crimson Court and the parade float prize sponsors will be recognized during halftime. The halftime show will also feature the IUP Marching Band, under the direction of David Martynuik. The band will present the postgame show at the stadium immediately following the game.
The Fifth Quarter Celebration, open to all alumni, will take place from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. Upstairs at the Coney, along Philadelphia Street.
Weekend events close with the annual Homecoming concert, featuring the IUP Concert Band, Wind Ensemble, and Symphony Band at 3:00 p.m. Sunday, October 2, in the Performing Arts Center’s Fisher Auditorium.
Tickets for the concert are available in advance at the Hadley Union Building ticket office on the IUP campus. Tickets remaining may be purchased at the door forty-five minutes before the start of the performance. Tickets are $9 for regular admission, $8 for seniors and groups, and $6 for students with an I-Card and children.
For more information about the Homecoming concert, call the Fine Arts Public Events Office at 724-357-2547 or the Hadley Union Building ticket office at 724-357-1313.
Events planned in conjunction with the Homecoming celebration include Lovin’ Downtown Every Second on September 30 from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. and the annual LGBT Film Festival opening, featuring What Happens Next on October 2 at 6:00 p.m. in Stouffer Hall’s Beard Auditorium.
Reunion events for departments and classes are scheduled throughout the day on October 1. A complete list of Homecoming events, including reunion events, is available on the Homecoming website.