Homecoming will lack parade, hold virtual events this year

Though a popular event, K-State's Homecoming festivities won't include a parade this year because of COVID-19 restrictions and safety protocols. (Archive Photo by Alex Todd | Collegian Media Group)

This year, many traditional All­-University Homecoming festivities will be virtual to promote safety and keep students, faculty and alumni healthy.

“We’ve got a lot more virtual activity going on and things that wouldn’t require a lot of people to come together, especially for our fraternities and sororities,” Jessica Elmore, associate director of diversity programs and Homecoming coordinator, said.

This year’s virtual activities will include a Kansas State Family Game Night with Homecoming trivia and the annual Homecoming Philanthropy 5K Run/Walk, held between Oct. 18-22.

“[The 5K is] now open to our Wildcat community all over the world, so we’re pretty excited about that,” Elmore said.

Though a parade and other large gatherings are out of reach this year, Elmore said there will still be some in-person activities on campus.

“We’re still having the spirit sign and sidewalk chalk competition so that can be something shown on campus,” Elmore said.

Elmore said they’re also planning to share flashback videos so people can get into the spirit and reminisce about awesome performances from the past.

“What better way to do that than Homecoming, where we can reminisce on our time, whether [K-State] is your alma mater or if you’re a current student, it’s a chance to participate in the iconic tradition,” Elmore said. “We wanted to do that, while pivot as best to we can to promote safety.”

While Alexandria Klassen, junior in elementary education, said she still intends to make the most of it, missing the experience of Homecoming is difficult for those who would typically be heavily involved.

“I’m in a sorority and was really looking forward to the excitement of all the events and making memories with my friends,” Klassen said. “The parade was so fun last year, and I’ll really miss that.”

Despite the disappointment, Klassen said she thinks the precautions are the best course of action.

“I think having virtual events is probably the smartest thing to do to stop the spread of COVID,” Klassen said. “I hope people can still get excited and be looking forward to Homecoming and the special atmosphere of being a part of Kansas State that week, and be willing to get involved in the activities.”