The University of Minnesota Duluth kicked off their homecoming festivities last week with this year’s theme “Beware of Dogs.” Bulldogs, alumni Bulldogs, and the Duluth community were invited to participate in the daily homecoming events. Popular events this year included: Tuesday’s Corn Roast on Griggs’ Beach, Wednesday’s Cardboard Boat Races at Bagley Pond, and UMD sporting events Friday and Saturday.
The newest addition to the homecoming week line up was Thursday’s Homecoming Parade in Downtown Duluth. There hadn’t been a UMD homecoming parade in nearly 40 years, making this year’s parade something to talk about throughout the community.
There were more than 50 UMD athletics, clubs, organizations, and community organizations that participated in the parade. Despite the down-pouring rain and chilly temperatures, many community members came out to support the university wearing their Bulldog apparel.
“That [organizations] was definitely the most exciting part of the parade for me. Seeing the number of students that were involved, you can definitely see the potential for this event growing in the future,” said Ness.
The potential for next year’s parade is high, and Ness hopes it can become a tradition once again.
“UMD hasn’t done this in downtown for almost 40 years. And now that folks have the word of how big and exciting this would be if the weather was nicer and if we had a big crowd, hopefully we’ll draw more folks out next year,” said Ness.
Steve Halverson, a 1983 UMD graduate, won the award for “Best Float”. Steve volunteered his time to designing and creating the Writing Studies’ float, and his hard work paid off. Photo Credit: Brittany Bloch
Ness realizes how important it is to unite Duluth as a whole, and is hoping to make the ties between the university and the community stronger.
“UMD is such an important part of our community; the sports teams have a tremendous amount of origin in our community and this could be the tradition that is really the embodiment of the support between the city and the university," said Ness.
Though it literally rained on the parade, there was overwhelming support from the community wishing UMD athletics, organizations, students, and faculty a great school year. The homecoming parade starts a new tradition for the community and the university, and hopefully many more to come. Go Bulldogs!