A turnout of 10-20,000 people was expected to attend the parade. Even though it’s expected to be the biggest crowd ever for the homecoming event, MSU and East Lansing officials expect the weekend to be as safe and exciting as all the other parades, dating back to the early 1900’s.
“We have 170 parade entries, so it’s the largest ever … our theme this year is Spartans will make history,” said parade coordinator Regina Cross.
It’s an opportunity for organizers to show off what’s changed about the area to thousands of spectators who haven’t seen the downtown strip since last year.
Many are coming to see the new stadium scoreboards in the distance, but possibly the most obvious change to Grand River is the Broad museum; opening in less than a month: “I’m incredibly excited for people to see this now, with the construction equipment starting to disappear and people can really get a sense of the very exciting façade of this building,” said Alison Cross, curator of the Broad Museum.
As for the city of East Lansing, the parade is a big opportunity to invite people to check out new businesses, and come back to shop and eat more often: “We get a whole lot of people here who may not come down on a regular basis, so I think that’s just the best thing for us, to just show off our downtown,” said City Manager George Lahanas.