TSU changes homecoming parade route after 99 years - WKRN News 2

TSU changes homecoming parade route after 99 years

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -

Tennessee State University celebrates its 100 years this week with what will be the school's biggest homecoming event ever.

For almost all of the previous 99 years the homecoming parade has traveled down Jefferson Street in front of many businesses owned and operated by TSU alums.

This homecoming however, the parade will stay on the perimeter of the campus.

"The parade route was changed for this year and this year only," explained TSU spokesman Rick Delahaya. "Last year we had an estimated crowd of about 50,000, this year we're expecting double that."

During last year's parade, two people were shot in the parking lot of the Wendy's located at 28th Avenue and Jefferson Street.

"That shooting wasn't connected to homecoming. That shooting happened right in front of police, so if they're going to shoot, they're going to shoot," said Delahaya. "Last year we had a few incidents where we had to get medical vehicles in and it was just really hard to come down Jefferson Street."

Delahaya said those incidents played a factor in the decision to move this year's homecoming parade.

"We want to make sure we provide safety for both spectators and our crowd who are coming out to TSU to celebrate this very special occasion," he said.

TSU's parade is one of the largest parades held in Nashville.

Crowds are often seven and eight deep on the sidewalks.

Having the parade directly on and around campus might make it seem even bigger.

"There's going to be maybe 80 floats in this parade, bands so I think there's going to be a little bit of something for everybody."

There is a lot of excitement about this year's homecoming.

According to Delahaya, this year's festivities are the biggest homecoming event in school history.

"It's been 100 years in the making and we have more than 25,000 alumni coming. We have the community members who are coming out and really rally and support the school, so it's a really big deal for the university and for the community at large."

TSU will play Arkansas Pine Bluff at LP Field Saturday afternoon.

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