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.
Yusef Harris, the owner of the Alkebu-Lan Images bookstore, located on the corner of 28th and Jefferson, 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. “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,” said Harris.
Nearer to where the parade begins is Jefferson Street Sound, 2004 Jefferson Street, the home of a new record label. Lorenzo Washington, owner/CEO of the company, said that his “mission is one of restoring the musical legancy of the Jefferson Street.” One of the ways Washington is promoting restoration is through the presentation of his”tree,” a drawing that depicts the history of Jefferson Street and it’s distinquished legency from the 1940s to the 1970s with the theme: “Back in the Day; Shaping Tomorrow.” The tree shares the names of noted entertainers, night clubs of the era, and other organizations that shaped the musical heritage of Jefferson Street.
The 2013 Homecoming parade, themed ‘Tennessee State University: New Century, New Direction for Excellence,’ takes place Saturday, Oct. 26, at 8:00 am — beginning at the corner of 14th Avenue North and Jefferson Street. At least 10 bands are expected to march the two-mile route through the community and into the University. TSU President, Dr. Glenda Baskin Glover, will serve as Grand Marshall.
“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 pm so we needed to adjust the schedule to allow all our alumni and community guests ample time to make it to the game.”
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.”