UCM prepares for annual parade

Written by Muleskinner Staff

Story by Nina Garcia, for The Muleskinner
Every year, Homecoming is celebrated with an enormous parade, but have you ever wondered what goes into organizing a parade?
Jason Cannon has been organizing the Homecoming parade since 2004.
He said he receives a lot of help from the ROTC and graduate students.
The preparations start with knowing who will be in the parade, followed by the lineup, which usually starts out with the VIP’s, such as UCM and Warrensburg police, the highway patrol, the fire department, the president of UCM, governor and veterans.
The UCM athletic teams, Mancow, the mule, cheerleaders, and Mulekickers are next, followed by student and community organizations.  Each group goes in numerical order, and is conducted by a cadet from the UCM Reserve Officer Training Corps.
Cannon gives the cadets, as well as the groups in the parade, a list with a highlighted representation of where and when each group should show up.
The ROTC cadets communicate with radios, and have extra cadets and graduate students walking back and forth relaying messages while directing traffic.
Public Safety units are stationed along the parade route and at the Multi, making sure anyone that is a part of the parade is not under the influence of alcohol.
When passing out candy, there are people walking beside the floats who walk over to the crowds on the curbs, instead of throwing candy from the float, to avoid children running out into the streets and possibly getting injured.
Some of the challenges faced during the parade include Amtraks and commercial trains that come through town.
Mancow the mule is the only animal that is in the front of the parade.  Other horses in the parade are usually at the end.
This year, there will be about 52 floats, between 50 and 60 car entries, and 40 groups of walkers.
Since this is an election year, political organizations will also be a part of the parade.  In total, there are between 180 to 230 entries this year.