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From near, far, travelers revel at Livingstone College homecoming parade

By Shavonne Walker

SALISBURY — Marcia Gullett Clemons screamed, shouted and stood with her fellow Livingstone College alumni as they watched Saturday’s homecoming parade.

Clemons traveled from Houston, Texas, to be with her former college mates and had plans to partake in all of the homecoming activities, including tailgating before Saturday’s game and attending both the NAACP luncheon and alumni ball.

“We go to the game and meet at the yard,” she said.

She’s been making the parade part of her alumni weekend routine since 2000. As to the reason she returns for alumni activities each year, “it’s home, it’s family,” she said.

Richard Hagins attended to support his father, Milton P. Hagins, who is part of the Livingstone College class of 1954. He rode in the parade and will celebrate in the other homecoming activities.

“We’ve been here before. It’s a thrill. He just had to be here,” Richard Hagins said.

Naketa Brooker attended to support her daughter, Na’Zaria Brooker, 13, who was dancing in the parade with a the program a Bridge 4 Kids. The family — daughter, Neveah McIntyre, 8, and son, Nasiree Brooker, 3 — all watched the parade from the downtown area.

“We come just about every year. It’s very family-oriented. All different age groups are involved. You get to see the older classes and all the different bands,” Brooker said.

Florence Hudson has been attending the parade for a few years now in support of Dance Rhythm & Cheer, a Charlotte-based dance company. She said it’s not that far to travel and it’s an event that brings the community together. The dance coach is also a Livingstone College graduate.

Anita Santa Cruz pulled out her blue camp chair while parade floats got into position. Santa Cruz was decked out in her Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc. jacket, too.

She came to support her husband’s Eastern Star Chapter, Royal Ladies 837.

“Anytime I can support a historically black college or university, I try my best. I always enjoy the bands,” she said.

Michael Davis attends every year. He lives a block from Livingstone College and “loves everything about it,” he said.

He said listening to the bands and watching the other parade participants march down the street makes him feel like a kid again. He said dancing to the bands also helped him stay warm.

The cold morning weather didn’t stop the moderate crowd that gathered along Main Street, particularly the Square.

Nancy Black has been to the parade for the past four years. This year she attended to support her daughter, Lucy, who dances with Triple Threat Dance & Charm.

“I came to support my daughter, but also support an HBCU and our community,” she said.

Wivianny DeHaas, the owner of Heart of Yoga Salisbury, a downtown yoga studio, was doing a photo shoot and just happened to hear the parade. DeHaas said she wished the city had more advertising of the festivities to let more people know about it.

She enjoyed watching the parade.

Contact reporter Shavonne Walker at 704-797-4253.



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