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Sensory-friendly parade segment returns to Mizzou Homecoming

Trumpet players march in the TV spot formation Friday at the Marching Mizzou Practice Field during practice for the 96th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. It is the first appearance of Marching Mizzou in the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade.
Cora Mitchell
The Columbia Missourian
Mizzou Homecoming will feature a sensory-friendly segment in its annual parade.

School spirit will be the main source of traffic on Saturday morning in downtown Columbia. The annual Mizzou Homecoming parade kicks off at 9 a.m. on Oct. 21. This year, the annual procession will incorporate more student organizations and community groups, making for a longer and more inclusive experience. 

The 2023 parade will once again include a sensory-friendly portion to make sure anyone can safely enjoy the festivities. Once the parade turns onto 5th street from Broadway, all sirens, bright lights, band instruments, and hoots and hollers will stop for a quieter experience. 

Jonathan Jain is a tri-director of this year’s homecoming steering committee. He says the initial sensory-friendly area was a rewarding addition to the event in 2022. 

“Being able to see an entire group of people who previously wouldn't have been able to enjoy the homecoming parade, all in that section enjoying the parade, seeing the floats, seeing the bands, I think was just a really special feeling,” Jain said. 

The initial success of the sensory-friendly area in the 2022 parade prompted the steering committee to include it again in this year’s festivities. Jain says they partnered with the University of Missouri staff to improve outreach and marketing.

“The thing about homecoming, especially at Mizzou here, it’s for everyone — our alumni, our students, the community — so whenever you can find ways to better include everyone in the community, I think that’s a really special thing,” Jain said. 

The parade will begin at the Carnahan Quad on Rollins street and run through Hitt and 9th streets before turning onto Broadway and concluding on Cherry street. Those marching in the procession include Marching Mizzou, MU student organizations, youth groups, Greek Life chapters and political organizations.

Anna Colletto is a junior at the University of Missouri reporting on Health and Higher Education in Fall 2023.
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