Parade unites Ferris community for 97th annual Homecoming

The 2023 homecoming parade created lots of smiles as colorful floats and people filled the streets to celebrate the Bulldogs.

This year marked Ferris’ 97th homecoming celebration. One of the last events before the finale football game against Northern Michigan was the Ferris Famous annual parade.

The parade consisted of registered student organizations, local businesses, the Big Rapids High School band and local police and firemen.

The parade lasted about an hour and went down Michigan Ave.

President Bill Pink believes the parade brings the Ferris community and Big Rapids community together.

The You Beautiful Black Woman RSO walk in Saturday’s Homecoming parade. Photo Credits: Levi Waling l Torch Photographer

“One of the nicest things about our parade is not only how our students and Ferris participate but it is also an amazing connection to the community,” Pink said. “The parade is about the entire community because that’s what this university is, it’s a part of the community.”

Pharmacy junior Bayleigh Kamm enjoys the closeness of Ferris and the town.

“It’s very neat how close the Ferris community is,” Kamm said. “It was interesting to see who all came out for the parade to show their support for the Bulldogs.”

The crowd was able to see this year’s running homecoming ambassadors and wave to the town’s firefighters.

The participants of the parade were handing out candy and coupons to local businesses.

“When you do the parade route, you see so many people from the community who come out and support, but you also see everyone who is in the parade,” Pink said.

The parade also included younger students from the community by allowing the local high school band to participate.

The Ferris State cheer team performs on Michigan Ave. Photo Credits: Levi Waling l Torch Photographer

Big Rapids High School band director Brian Balch enjoys his and his band students contribution every year.

“We are asked to be in the parade every year,” Balch said. “We are pleased to be in the parade, and we are really happy to support Ferris.”

The band spends every morning up until the parade practicing and preparing for their march and their halftime performances at the high school.