Parade takes to the streets at 8 a.m.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The Tennessee State University Homecoming Parade will return to its roots this year, beginning on Jefferson Street, and proceeding through the community that has supported the University for the past 50 years.
That makes Yusef Harris very happy.
The owner of the Alkebu-Lan Images bookstore, who last year saw a decline in profits due to the route change, was excited when he heard the news that the parade was making a comeback to the historic Jefferson Street community.
“Homecoming is a special community event for all the small business owners along the parade corridor,” said Harris. “Last year we missed out on some of the economic benefits when the route changed. There is a lot of excitement in the business community on the parade’s return. It’s a mutually beneficial event for the school and the community.”
The 2013 Homecoming parade, themed Tennessee State University: New Century, New Direction for Excellence, takes place Saturday, Oct. 26, beginning at 8 a.m. from the corner of 14th Avenue and Jefferson Street. At least 10 bands are expected to march the two-mile route through the streets of the community and into the University. TSU President, Dr. Glenda Baskin Glover, will serve as Grand Marshall.
The only change in this year’s parade is the time, beginning an hour earlier than before.
“Homecoming at Tennessee State University is unlike any other,” said Cassandra Griggs, director of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving. “The Homecoming game at LP Field starts an hour earlier at 4 o’clock so we needed to adjust the schedule to allow all our alumni and community guests ample time to make it to the game.”
Last year, the route was moved from Jefferson Street to around the exterior of the campus for the Centennial celebration, to accommodate large floats and a larger influx in crowd size. Crowds in 2011 were estimated at 50,000, with the 2012 parade bringing in more than double that amount.
According to TSU Police, officials this year are bracing for at least 40-50,000 parade-goers, with half of that number between 28th Avenue and Jefferson Street to the parade’s end at 33rd Avenue and Albion Street.
“We’ll have extra security from the Metro Nashville Police Department to augment our forces during the parade,” said Assistant Police Chief, Anthony Carter. “We just want to make sure everyone has a safe and fun time.”
Harris, whose business is located on the corner of 28th Avenue and Jefferson Street, said he is ready for the return not only because of the economic impact, but also because of the sense of pride the parade brings to the community.
“This annual event fills all of us, not only the business community but the community at large, with pride,” he said. “It is a piece of our tradition and history, and we are glad to see it back where it belongs.”
A parade shuttle service will be available for TSU employee staff and volunteers departing from the Gentry Center at 6 a.m., and for the TSU Royal Court departing from the airplane in front of Kean Hall at 6:30 a.m.
The staging area for parade participants will take place between 12th and 16th Avenue from Meharry Boulevard to Jackson Street. The Metro Nashville Police Department will close Jefferson Street to the University beginning at 7:30 a.m.
For more information, contact 615.963.5331.
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