The Campus Activities Board hosted the Homecoming Street Fair and Student Float Parade on Third Street in front of Founders Hall on Oct. 14.
The event started at 10 a.m. as tents lined both sides of the block from C Street to B Street.
The fair was packed with hundreds of students, faculty, alumni and La Verne residents who came to enjoy the festivities.
“Being able to experience the Homecoming traditions is surreal,” Danny Barrios, freshman business administration major, said.
Barrios expressed his excitement to take part in his first college Homecoming. He attended all seven Homecoming week events.
Barrios is a member of the University dance team. The team’s booth, as well as their float, was themed “Greetings from Paris.”
Despite a little nerves, Barrios was ready to perform.
“Live a little, let loose, go to campus events and get out of your comfort zone,” he said.
Lines formed at the Habit Burger and Churro Boss food trucks parked across from parking lot A.
Kids with face paint and balloon animals ran around laughing and trying to catch the bubbles floating in the air.
Tables and umbrellas were set up on the grass between Woody and Hoover Hall. There, people sat down to enjoy their food and take in the atmosphere.
“It feels like home and if there’s an opportunity to come home and be with friends who graduated or are still here I wouldn’t pass up that opportunity,” Michael Hunt, a 2023 graduate, said.
While at the University, Hunt was a legal studies major, now he is doing freelance paralegal work at a variety of law firms. He was also a member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity and was excited to see his friends who have yet to graduate.
“It’s cheesy, but after graduation, the world really is your oyster and it’s not just about finding the oyster but stepping forward and shucking it,” Hunt said.
At 11:50 a.m., the Homecoming MCs called the crowd to the steps of Founders Hall for the crowning of the Court of Leos.
The five members of the court were Isela Chavez, senior legal studies and French major; Justin Parks, senior sociology major; Manny Forde, junior rhetoric and communications studies major; Mia Valdez, senior educational studies major; and Samantha Miller, senior psychology and theater major.
Two members of the court were to be crowned Leo Royalty.
Each member was introduced and took a place on the stairs. A representative of the campus activities board then distributed five boxes, two of which had an image of a plane inside. The two students with planes would be the winners.
The MCs counted down from five, and a scream erupted from Gabriella Cummings, a 2023 graduate and escort to Valdez, who was just crowned Leo Royalty.
“I’m very shocked. I’m at a loss for words,” Valdez said. “I heard her screaming before I even finished reading it.”
“Cherish every single moment, because it’s going to go by a lot faster than you think it is,” Cummings said.
Cummings was a member of Phi Sigma Sigma sorority and Valdez’s “big sister” in the sorority. She is now pursuing her master’s degree in public relations and advertising at USC, as well as working full-time for a non-profit.
Manny Forde was the second court member to be crowned.
The Student Float Parade started at 12:30 p.m. The procession began on C Street with President Pardis Mahdavi and her family in a fire department vehicle.
Following her was the University’s marching band playing “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor.
Ten student floats were set on wagons and pulled down the street by their creators. The Court of Leos followed with Royalty Valdez and Forde leading the way. The parade ended at B Street, and the crowd began to disperse.
Giana Froio can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.