Baylor Homecoming Parade to Be Broadcast Live on KCEN-TV Ch. 6
Live streaming video also available for nation’s oldest and largest collegiate homecoming parade
WACO, Texas (Oct. 19, 2017) – Baylor University and KCEN-TV Ch. 6 will team up to broadcast the 108th anniversary Baylor Homecoming Parade, one of the oldest and largest collegiate homecoming parades in the nation, with live coverage from 8 to 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 21, from Fifth Street on the Baylor campus. The parade also will be streamed live on the KCEN website at this link.
The parade broadcast is made possible by the generous support of the Sadie Jo Black Family Foundation. Returning to host the parade this year are John Morris and Lori Fogleman along with KCEN Early Texas Today anchor, Heidi Alagha, reporting along the parade route.
The Baylor Homecoming Parade will begin at 8 a.m. at Eighth Street and Austin Avenue in downtown Waco. It will travel down Austin and make a right on Fourth Street. Progressing down Fourth, the parade will go under the I-35 overpass, turn right on Dutton Avenue and then left on Fifth Street. The parade is expected to enter the Baylor campus at approximately 8:30 a.m.
This year’s parade will feature 180 entries, including 10 elaborately designed floats, eight balloons, including two new balloons featuring the Waco Flying W and Christmas on 5th Street, university and community dignitaries, marching bands and musical acts, and campus and community organizations.
This year’s grand marshal of the Baylor Homecoming Parade is Baylor President Linda A. Livingstone, who will be joined in the lead car by “First Gent” Brad Livingstone.
Dr. Livingstone began her tenure as Baylor University’s 15th president on June 1, 2017. A distinguished scholar and academic leader and strong advocate for Christian higher education, Dr. Livingstone previously served as dean and professor of management at The George Washington University School of Business from 2014 to 2017 and as dean of Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business and Management from 2002 to 2014.
Dr. Livingstone’s presidency marks her return to Baylor after time on the Waco campus from 1991 to 2002. She was an assistant professor and an associate professor in the Department of Management before serving for four years as associate dean of graduate programs for the Hankamer School of Business.
Following the parade, Baylor men’s basketball will host a charity exhibition game against University of Houston at noon CT Saturday at the Ferrell Center. All ticket sales will be donated to the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund through the Greater Houston Community Foundation.
The Homecoming Alumni Reunion Picnic will begin at 3 p.m., adjacent to the Baylor Alumni Network Tailgate tent at McLane Stadium. The Bear Walk also will get underway at approximately 4:30 p.m., as Baylor fans welcome the Baylor Bears as they arrive at McLane Stadium.
Baylor will host No. 23 West Virginia at 7 p.m. at McLane Stadium. Fans are encouraged to “Stripe McLane” in green and gold.
History of the Baylor Homecoming Parade
In the fall of 1909, Baylor University alumni received a surprising invitation from their alma mater. A postcard signed by three professors asked the graduates to return to campus to “renew former associations and friendships, and catch the Baylor spirit again.”
Thus began Baylor University’s Homecoming, the nation’s first collegiate Homecoming celebration.
Since 1909, the Baylor Homecoming Parade has been a first-class extravaganza of color that featured bands, horse-drawn carriages and wagons, student and civic organizations, and a stream of dignitaries.
On Wednesday afternoon, Nov. 24, 1909, the Baylor Band, as is still the custom today, headed the first Baylor Homecoming Parade and was led by its towering drum major, who, it was reported, was “six feet six in his stocking feet and without his bearskin cap.”
As the band moved westward up Washington Avenue and then down to Eighth and Austin, it was followed in the parade – 30 to 40 blocks long – by distinguished guests, speakers, alumni and former students, Baylor clubs, university trustees, Baylor President Samuel Palmer Brooks and faculty, the dean and faculty of the medical school, the R.C.B.’s and Calliopeans women’s clubs, Alessandro’s Band, the Erisophians and Philomathesians men’s clubs, the Baylor Medicos, the football squad, the tennis club, and the basketball team, in that order.
Autos and carriages, 60 in all, followed, and all were decorated – one completely covered with yellow chrysanthemums.
The female literary societies filled “tallyhos” decorated with the colors of their organizations. The men’s societies walked in four lines that greatly lengthened as the parade progressed when alumni of the groups joined in the march.
The parade must have moved rather quickly because the football game started just 30 minutes later on Carroll Field, with Baylor prevailing over TCU 6-3.
Despite the initial success of the first Baylor Homecoming Parade, the event – indeed, Homecoming itself – did not become an annual tradition until after World War II.
The second Baylor Homecoming Parade took place in 1915, six years after the first, and the third was not until 1924. Afterward, Homecoming was held intermittently until World War II and, after the war, resumed on an annual basis from 1945 to the present.
Torchlight parades, the night before the Homecoming football game, were common in the 1920s. Floats first appeared in the parade in 1915. Floats became standard for the parade during the 1920s and usually carried general themes, often patriotic in nature.
It wasn’t until the 1950s that the floats began to take note of Baylor’s opponent for the Homecoming football game. By 1960, practically every float carried a slogan that forecast doom for the mascot of the opposing team.
ABOUT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY
Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 17,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.