Since taking the helm as chief executive officer of Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU), President Elmira Mangum, Ph.D., has made enhancing the relationship with the surrounding community and improving the student experience two of her Administration’s highest priorities. The annual FAMU Homecoming Parade is one of the University’s signature community and student-oriented events and, therefore, presents a major opportunity to advance these strategic initiatives.
The University initially changed this year’s parade route to start on the corner of Wahnish Way and Orange Avenue and end on Wahnish and FAMU Way. The change was made to enhance community and student enjoyment. After considerable consultation with the City of Tallahassee and input from numerous stakeholders and students, the previously announced route has been tweaked slightly to showcase the “main street” of campus. The revised route will allow parade goers to see many of the University’s iconic structures like Coleman Library, Lee Hall, and the Eternal Flame.
The new route will still start on Wahnish Way and Orange Avenue and proceed down Wahnish Way. However, instead of proceeding to Wahnish and FAMU Way, it will turn right on Gamble Street and proceed to South Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, then turn right onto Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard (MLK) and end at MLK and Osceola Street.
Commenting on this change to the parade route, Student Activities Director Marvin Green said, “Making this change will give us an opportunity to explore different ways to use the parade to connect FAMU to the broader Tallahassee community. Not only will it make the parade more accessible to our students, but it will give visitors and our neighbors a chance to see one of the most beautiful campuses anywhere.”
The parade‘s viewing stand will be located in front of Lee Hall, at 1601 S. MLK Blvd., and parade staging will be held at Wahnish Way and Orange Avenue. Parking will be available to the public and free from 6 a.m. until 11:30 a.m., in parking lots along MLK at the following buildings: College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Frederick S. Humphries Science and Research Center, Lee Hall, Foote-HilyerAdministration Center, and the Band Practice Field.
The University will revisit the route at a later date to determine how effective the move was in stimulating community and student interest, as well as the cost and other operational aspects of the parade. This information will be shared with the community and the City to determine future parade routes.