Homecoming court parades in style

As Warhawks stood waiting on their turn to get on the hot air balloon on a chilly Thursday evening, the rat-a-tat-tat of the Sound of Today Marching Band drumming suddenly filled the atmosphere.

The members of the band marched forward, following the Hawkline and the university cheer team, while playing their instruments with perfect synchronization.

Behind them a cart carried President Ronald Berry and first lady, Christine Berry. Miss ULM, Allison Newton, trailed behind their cart on her horse, Sutton.

The homecoming court followed behind Miss ULM, starting from the freshman beau and maid, to the homecoming king and queen.

The homecoming king and queen wore Mardi Gras beads to reflect Mardi Gras culture in Louisiana.

Students that were standing in line for hot air balloon rides were captivated, and excitedly cheered for the homecoming court as they paraded into Bayou Park.

Michael Zhou, a member of CAB who helped organize the hot air balloon rides, said, “The idea was to have the balloon ride alongside the homecoming parade. Since the balloon ride is now becoming a signature of homecoming at the university, it is a good way to bring the students out and see them cheer for their fellow students.” 

Shania Lewis, who ran for senior maid, said that she felt the push to run for homecoming court this year and she followed it. She said, since it was her last year of college, there was no reason not to run for court. In the end, parading down the bayou made for a great memory.

“Despite the pandemic, I still saw students excited and receptive of the homecoming festivities. If you want to run for homecoming court, go ahead because you never know what could happen, be creative and have fun with the campaign process,” Lewis said.

Bryce Lovelady, the junior beau, who also represented the school on the homecoming court last year, said that he was not expecting to win the homecoming election this year because of his great competition. 

“It felt amazing to be able to represent my school on the court again,” Lovelady said. “Even with the pandemic, I still enjoyed the experience. I am grateful for the university because it has shaped me into the person I am today.”