Parade Guide

Homecoming Parade Guide

Each year, we kick off Homecoming weekend with a Friday evening parade—an event that showcases IU student groups and local community organizations.

Registration for parade entry will open summer 2024.

Important Dates for IU Homecoming 2024
Oct. 11

Parade entry forms are due by 5 p.m.

Oct. 14

Mandatory meeting for all parade participants at either 6 p.m. or 7 p.m.* All entries will receive their lineup order and time at this meeting.

*Let us know as soon as possible if you are unable to attend either time.

Oct. 18

Staging and line up will be on 13th Street starting at 4 p.m. The parade will start at 13th Street and head down Woodlawn to 17th Street. We will finish off with a performance by the Marching Hundred.

Parade Policies, Rules, and Resources

Before completing the Parade Entry Form, please review the following guidelines and regulations for all parade participants and entries.

Please note: All entries are subject to approval from the IU Alumni Association. We reserve the right to refuse any entry that is not in good taste, does not follow guidelines, or is not in the best interest of IU’s Homecoming festivities.

  • Each parade entry must submit the Parade Entry Form (currently and briefly describe their entry design).
  • Organizations may partner with another organization and participate in the parade together.
  • Staging and lineup begins at 4 p.m. Please arrive at your designated time—this will help ensure a smooth setup and a prompt start. Ahead of the event, more information regarding lineup assignments will be sent to the person of contact for each entry.

  • Float: Anything being pulled by a vehicle or a self-propelled wagon. If your organization is using something other than a vehicle to pull the float, permission must be obtained.
  • Decorated Car: A vehicle requiring a standard automobile license to operate and is decorated in accordance with the Homecoming theme.
  • Walking: Any group walking through the parade with similar dress style, synchronized movement, or organized choreography.
  • Musical: A group of people walking together while playing music or instruments.

  • An organization may participate in the parade with one of each type of entry: one float, one decorated car, and one walking entry. Each entry will be judged separately, and there is no guarantee that multiple entries will be grouped together in the final lineup.
  • The IUAA has the right to refuse any parade entries that are in direct conflict with the mission, values, and goals of the university.
  • In questionable situations, the IUAA will determine the type of entry.
  • It is important that we have accurate contact information for every entry submitted. Each organization must select a point of contact for each entry—someone who will be present with the entry throughout the entire parade. If an organization has more than one entry, each entry must have a different point of contact.
  • All float entries must also select two representatives to be their float safety monitors. These people will help monitor the float lineup area. These individuals’ names must be submitted on the Parade Entry Form and they must attend one of two mandatory parade meetings.

  • Entries will compete in one of four divisions: float, decorated car, walking, or musical.
  • Winners in each category will receive a plaque and the overall parade champion will receive a trophy.
  • Political entries are excluded from winning prizes.

Entries will be judged using a five-point scale on the following criteria:

Floats and Cars
  • Theme: The organization(s) incorporation of the Homecoming theme.
    • This year’s theme is IU Carnival! Be sure to incorporate the theme into your entry.
  • Participation: All organization members displaying the theme.
  • Creativity: Use of imagination or original ideas in relation to the theme.
  • Presentation: The appeal of the entry to spectators and judges.
  • Construction: The attention to detail, quality, and use of movable parts.
  • Name Display: The organization’s name prominently displayed in an original way.
Walking and Musical Entries

In addition to theme, participation, creativity, and presentation, Walking and Musical entries will be judged on the following criteria: 

  • Dress/Costumes: Wardrobe relates to the theme.
  • Choreography: Success of synchronized or organized movements.

  • The number of participants riding on the float during the parade must be estimated when completing the float entry form.
  • Please remember that because of traffic signals and other obstructions, floats must be less than 13 feet in height and less than 20 feet wide.
  • Each parade entry will be given a banner to identify the sponsoring organization. Organizations will need to provide two volunteers to walk the parade route with their banner.
  • All entries must be constructed of fire-resistant materials as required by fire codes.

  • Candidates running for political office must be sponsored by an on-campus student organization to participate in the parade. No speeches for candidates will be allowed, and an off-campus entry form is required.
  • All candy must be sealed and individually wrapped. Candy may not be thrown into the crowds.
  • A representative from each student and campus organization must attend one of two mandatory parade meetings. If an organization does not have a representative present for at least one of the two parade meetings they will not be allowed to compete in the parade. Each meeting will last an hour and will discuss lineup procedures and general parade safety.

  • Companies promoting alcohol (Budweiser, Big Red, etc.) cannot be used as float sponsors.
  • All community entries are prohibited from displaying or distributing any information regarding alcohol—this includes the display of alcoholic beverage company logos.
  • An entry may be removed from the parade and competition if, in the opinion of an IUAA representative, the entry is operated in a hazardous manner or because of the misbehavior of individuals associated with the entry. Entries will be removed immediately if the presence of alcohol is detected.
  • The IUAA reserves the right to do spot checks of any entries if alcohol use is suspected. The Indiana University Police Department will also be present in the lineup area to confiscate any alcohol present. They will cite and/or arrest persons they feel violate alcohol laws (public intoxication, minor in possession, driving under the influence, etc.) Alcohol related situations will most likely result in the immediate disqualification of your entry, even if the entry is shared with multiple organizations and other groups participating are uninvolved in the situation.
  • The consumption of alcoholic beverages or use of any illegal substance by participants prior to and during the parade is strictly prohibited.


Contact Eryn Wisler at or 812-855-4664 for more Homecoming and parade information.