WSSU’s event is more than just a parade

WSSU’s event is more than  just a parade
November 05
00:00 2015

Photos by Tevin Stinson

A member of Winston-Salem State University’s Marching Band makes his way down Fourth Street during the Homecoming parade on Saturday, Oct. 31.

By Tevin Stinson

The Chronicle


The booming sound of bass drums, mixed with joyous laughter echoed through the crowded streets of downtown Winston-Salem this past weekend as Winston-Salem State University’s annual Homecoming parade pounded the pavement.

The parade began at Fourth and Poplar Streets and ended at Bowman Gray Stadium, located on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.

Over the years the parade has become one of the most anticipated events associated with WSSU’s homecoming, not just for alumni and students but for the community as well.

For many who live in the vicinity of the historically black university, attending the parade is a family tradition.


A number of residents said they remember their parents taking them to the parade and felt it was important to pass that tradition on to their children.

Lakiesha Robinson said she looks forward to the parade because it gives her a chance to see people she hasn’t seen in years or since the previous year’s parade.

“The parade is definitely a tradition for my family and friends,” she continued. “It’s more than just a parade. It feels more like a family reunion than anything else.”

A number of attendees showed up over an hour early to beat the rush and find a good spot to stand. Some even brought lawn chairs for a more comfortable view.

In years past, over 1,000 people crowded the streets just to catch a glimpse as local bands, step teams and dance troops did their thing.

Marching bands from Walkertown, Parkland and Carver high schools all participated in this year’s parade. A number of bands from other states participated as well, including Crossland High School from Maryland, and Heritage High School, which traveled from Florida.

Heritage band director Brandon Jenkins, a WSSU alumnus, said, although the weather was cooler than they are accustomed to, the opportunity to participate in the parade is one he, nor his students will never forget.

“Bringing the band to North Carolina was cool, both figuratively and literally,” he said. “We are still on Cloud Nine.”

Throughout the journey, Chancellor Elwood L. Robinson and his wife, Myra, frequently got out of the vehicle they were riding in to greet and mingle with members of the community.

A number of residents welcomed Robinson to the city with handshakes and words of encouragement. A few mentioned that seeing Robinson blend with residents showed them that he is a man of the people.

James Herd said seeing the newly installed chancellor walk parts of the parade route was different and exciting at the same time.

“All the years I’ve attended the parade, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a chancellor do that,” he continued.” I’m excited to see the impact he makes on the university and this community.”




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