Tennessee State University Homecoming recap

Photos by Sarah Anne Mayes

Photos by Sarah Anne Mayes

Homecoming at Tennessee State University is unlike any other. It’s a time to reconnect with old friends, classmates and reminisce about the days they walked the campus as a student.

It’s a tradition for everyone to come out and enjoy the homecoming activities, not only students or alumni. In a way, it is like Nashville’s homecoming since Tennessee State is the state’s school.

Though I am a Middle Tennessee State University alumna, TSU’s homecoming will always have a special place in my heart.

There are many different events surrounding the TSU homecoming game—parties, the pep rally, tailgating, etc. But the one event I believe is the highlight of all the events and is also my personal favorite—the homecoming parade on historical Jefferson Street. This is the one event that anyone and everyone can attend.

If you are a Nashville native, it is almost impossible to attend a TSU homecoming event without seeing someone you know. And I guess the longer you have lived in Nashville, the more people you know. For that exact reason, I will never go to the parade with my mother again. Every two minutes I was stuck dodging sunrays while I waited for my mom to finish catching up with an old friend or family member. The whole time I’m thinking was: “I just want to eat.”

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Great food is another reason so many people show up to the homecoming parade. As you walk down the street, your nose is filled with the mouthwatering aroma of several delectables.

Some of my immediate family members who were too sluggish to make the 9 am start time were forced to put their ‘orders’ in via text. A funnel cake for my nephew; popcorn for my other nephew and my sister; and of course, Father wouldn’t let me leave the parade without getting them a big, juicy turkey leg. Me, on the other hand, I just had to have my fish sandwich.

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The crowd this year was as big as ever. Thousands of people loaded the streets leading up to the main campus but there were a few changes.

The first concerned the route. The homecoming parade is usually held in November when it is cold outside, but the early game in September meant a hotter background for the parade. Something that most people are not used to. Ten to 15 people gathered to celebrate at the parade ‘passed out,’ according to an emergency dispatcher. Several medic units were called to TSU’s campus. It was shocking to see the ambulances and fire trucks rushing through the remainder of people walking to get food and apparel but even more shocking they were not police cars instead.

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Besides the two on-campus-shootings that occurred early morning Saturday, this year’s homecoming was virtually crime free.

Another difference I noticed with the parade this year was the number of bands. Being a former majorette myself, I am always excited to see what new moves the band choreographers have come up with. But I have to say that this year’s parade was a little scarce in that area.

Overall I enjoyed myself at TSU’s parade as I always do. I cannot wait to come back again next year. Until next year, Tennessee State and I thank you for a good time.