Construction changes UNI homecoming tradition - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Construction changes UNI homecoming tradition

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by Jenn Jarvis

CEDAR FALLS (KWWL) -- Road construction may affect your morning commute, but at the University of Northern Iowa, it's changing tradition.

The traditional homecoming parade route is under construction. And while there will still be floats and candy, this year you won't need to stake out a spot on the street.

The UNI Homecoming Committee had two choices, move the parade or cancel it.

"The parade is traditional around UNI, everyone wants to come down to a parade, but hopefully this year they'll see we tried to bring in as many of the parade options as possible and give the community, student body and alumni something else to look forward to," homecoming committee member Tara Popenhagen said.

The committee decided to take the traditional floats and create a festival on the edge of campus, calling it a "virtual parade."

"The student body, community and alumni will be able to walk around actually and spend time looking at the float, watching a performance or a chant if the student organizations choose. It's just going to be kind of a stationary parade," Popenhagen said.

UNI student Kaitlin Messer is looking forward to her first homecoming. She says the parade means more to the community and for students it's all about the game.

"I wasn't really upset when I heard they weren't having a parade because I think for us we're going to be tailgating more so we're not going to be worred about missing the parade," Messer said.

The construction could also affect your drive time on game day with road work stretching down University Avenue. And for that it takes patience and planning.

"I would just say come out early and find a great parking spot," Popenhagen said.

But even if homecoming looks different on the outside, students say it feels the same on the inside.

"Just a great time to celebrate Panther Pride and be a part of something big," Popenhagen said.

UNI's Homecoming kicks off Wednesday with the "Panther Pride Cry" competition. Click here to see a full schedule of events.

Online Reporter: Jenn Jarvis
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