Saturday, October 22, 2011

Rambling UI Homecoming 2011 Parade Thoughts

It's Homecoming weekend for the University of Iowa here in Iowa City.  The game starts at 11 AM, but my family will stay away from the craziness of downtown today.  We're not against the game.  It just gets a little too much for us.  Which isn't to say that we completely refrain from the fun of Homecoming.  As is tradition for our family, we went to last night's Homecoming Parade, which was a lot of fun.  This year was a little different for two different reasons. 

First, D'Angelo began learning how to play the trombone this fall with visions of joining the high school marching band in the not distant enough future.  It was fun to watch his new found interest in the various marching bands.  It's one thing for a young kid to enjoy clapping to the Iowa Fight Song.  It's quite another thing for him to envision a time when he'll be out there contributing to the enjoyment.

Secondly, Leslie actually got to march in the parade last night with the various local Best Buddies clubs (University of Iowa Chapter, City High Chapter, and Iowa City West Chapter).  They were supposed to show up wearing black & gold and ready to pass out candy.  It took a bit of convincing, but Leslie finally agreed to marching with his friends.  Unfortunately, they almost walked past me before I realized they were there (they kind of blended in with the previous group).  Fortunately, I saw Les in time and managed to snap off the accompanying pic (even if it's not the greatest).  He had fun and enjoyed checking out the sorority girls, so it worked out okay.

Otherwise, the parade was pretty routine, for the most part.  Apparently, some kid got hit by a vehicle last year while running after some stray candy.  As a result, they parade organizers started out pretty hardcore.  They lined the parade routes with volunteers who held super-long strips of plastic and then some guy would yell at you with a bull-horn if you got on the wrong side of the plastic strip.  At least initially.  Later on, people were shooting under the barrier strips and running across the streets during lulls in the parade and nobody said anything.

Also, we ended up standing beside a family whose mom was extremely... pro-conservative.  She booed anytime a Democratic politician/campaign went by and she refused to let her kid take any candy from those marchers.  She was also a big fan of the Campus Crusade for Christ and cheered on the College Republicans float.  I don't mind the cheering.  I just don't like it when people jeer marchers at a parade.  I scowled at her a few times and she finally got the message.  Either that or there just wasn't anyone left to jeer. 

Soon enough, we made the long journey back to our car and drove back home.  Later that evening, I began hearing the sound of music from what I assumed was a nearby house party.  After a while, I figured out that it wasn't a house party, but 80s rock ban Survivor playing on the UI Pentacrest.  Nero was a little disturbed by the sound, but it was kind of fun listening to "Eye of the Tiger" live from my bedroom at 11:00 PM.

Update: Btw, here is an edited pic of the one above that shows off Les a little better:

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