This week is a big week in Perry, with many events going on. Primarily, this week is Homecoming, and in addition, we will see the return of the Homecoming Parade! It has been awhile since the last parade (I was still in High School when the parade was cancelled), so in honor of the return of the parade we are going to look at what the homecoming parade was like in years past!
First, we have a picture of a float from the 1960 Homecoming Parade. As you can see, that year Perry was facing Greenfield. The freshman of that year designed the float, and it appears to indicate that Perry is going to put Greenfield in the ground. The grave even has a sign that reads “defeat” sticking out of it. Unfortunately, our records do not show if we won this game or not. I hope that we did, or this float would have been digging our own grave!
Our next photo is also from around 1960. This one depicts a float with a sign that reads “Let’s Swing Homecoming”. Personally, I am unsure what that means; perhaps it is hoping that Perry wins the game? Aside from that, it appears that the students on board went to a lot of work to make this float. Our collection says that the students are Helen Lavell, Kenneth Huitt, Jim Kanealy, Pat Pritchard, and Don Hase. I say that they went to a lot of work because as you can see, it looks like they have gotten a full swing set onto the float! It is not possible to tell if it is made of wood or metal, but either way it must have been a pain to get onto the float, especially after wrapping it in what looks like ribbon or streamers.
Our final picture for today is a photo of the Homecoming Parade in 1977. This one shows Vicki Pies riding in a car during the parade. Unlike the others, I choose this photo more for the background than for the subject of the picture. First, you can notice all of the older cars that are parked outside a jewelry store that no longer exists. Next, you can see the old-fashioned yellow streetlight on the corner! Really, this photo is an indication of how much times have changed. I hope that we get some photos of this year’s parade in our collection, so that future generations can compare it to their parades!
Finally, I want to invite all of you to tomorrow’s Gary Ernest Smith Event, Art Tour Odd # Thursday #3. This time Rachel Schwaller, an Assistant Professor of Art & Design at Grandview College in Des Moines, will be in Perry. Rachel is an artist who uses Video and Performance in her work. She will be sharing her story, and relating it to creating art in Iowa. The event starts at 4:30 P.M. in the Hotel Pattee, and I encourage all of you to attend!