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Inside Iowa State, a newspaper for faculty and staff, is published by the Office of University Relations.

April 13, 2007

Sesquicentennial goes on parade at Veishea

by Erin Rosacker


Perhaps the most visible part of Veishea, this year's parade took on more entries and a double purpose - to help kick off Iowa State's year-long celebration of its sesquicentennial on Saturday, April 21.

That theme will be evident throughout the parade, beginning with parade marshal Gordon Eaton, ISU's president from 1986 to 1990.

"A lot of groups are using the sesquicentennial theme," said Amy Boruff, co-chair of the Veishea parade committee. "We actually had to turn down groups this year."

Boruff and co-chair Jessie Stone said this parade has approximately 110 entries, up from 97 last year.

"We still have entries coming in every day and the deadline was two months ago," Stone said.

ISU's department of public safety, color guard, cannon crew and honor guard will get things started at 10:40 a.m., followed by an estimated two-hour procession of floats, balloons, bands, dignitaries and performances.

The "fun" starts at midnight on Friday when groups begin moving into the staging areas in the northwest corner of campus. Lincoln Way will be closed just south of campus from 3 to 4 a.m. as the big floats are moved into place. By 10 a.m., everyone should be ready to go, including the parade committee members who each get an hour in the precise schedule to shower and dress for the big event.

Announcers will be on hand to call the action along the route, including broadcast spots in front of Beardshear and MacKay Halls, and the north side of the Memorial Union. Alums Kevin and Mollie Cooney from KCCI TV, Des Moines, are among the guest announcers.

Parade entry

Veishea parade entry, 1925. Photo courtesy of University Archives, ISU Library.

Featured in the parade are four traditional floats (self-propelled), 20 non-traditional floats (pulled) and three giant balloons just like those in Macy's New York City parade. There are 49 specialty units (horses, fire trucks, etc.), six bands, 18 dignitaries and eight performance floats - such as singers, dancers and jugglers - a big jump from just three entries last year.

Boruff and Stone urge spectators to arrive early to find a good parking spot and a great place to watch the parade. If you miss the action, the parade will be aired Sunday, April 22, at 2 p.m. on Fox 17 TV, Des Moines.

Veishea parade

Saturday, April 21

10:40 a.m. start, lasts approximately two hours

Campus route: north to south via Pammel Drive, Stange Road, Osborn Drive, Morrill Road and Union Drive.