Students, community, alumni revel in blue and gold pride at 2022 homecoming parade

Alexa Warmuth, TV2 Reporter

Grace Clarke, Reporter

Showered in blue and gold, hundreds of students, family and alumni gathered along Main Street to celebrate over 100 years of tradition at the Kent State Homecoming Parade.

The parade, which began at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, started at the corner of Midway Drive and Main Street and traveled to downtown Kent. The Kent Fire Department kicked off the parade with roaring sirens while the crowd applauded.

Keeping the parade on track, two alumni took the roles of the announcers. Brandon Tidd (2005) and Matt Lupica (2017) both spent the morning eagerly welcoming parade participants and on-lookers in the crowd.

The parade showcased a variety of student organizations, programs, alumni, local officials and businesses throughout the Kent area.

Future Golden Flashes ran into the streets to catch the candy that was being thrown by those participating in the parade. Kent embraced all kinds of people walking in the parade, such as the LGBTQ+ Center who passed out not only candy to the crowd, but also colorful rainbow beads.

Thirty-seven Kent State alumna, all former female student-athletes, served as the 2022 Grand Marshals to commemorate 50 years since Title IX was signed into law in the United States.

A highlight of the parade was the tradition of the Kent State marching band playing, as well as local high school bands and dancers, which brought music and entertainment to the crowd.

One parade tradition is honoring the homecoming court, both past and present. This year’s homecoming court nominees waved to the crowd atop a horse-drawn carriage while last year’s homecoming royalty, Andrew Pitko and Jatia Caples, followed.

Wearing an “I MISS KENT” shirt, alumni Matt Cole was the epitome of Kent State alumnus pride. Cole has been attending homecoming every year since he graduated in 2005. He brought along his whole family to enjoy the homecoming festivities.

“I love it. We come every year. My kids love the candy, and we love to tailgate down at Dix Stadium,” Cole said. “I love coming back. I mean, I met some of my best friends here, and the bonds we built are some of the best. It’s a good community.”

Not only were Cole and other alumni decked out in their Kent State merchandise, but so were his young children.

From strollers to canes, everyone of every age showed up to display their love for the city and university.

The homecoming parade was only the beginning of the day’s events, followed by the annual tradition of “Kiss on the K” along with the tailgate and football game at Dix Stadium at 3:30 p.m.

Grace Clarke is a reporter. Contact her at [email protected].