51st Harvest Homecoming Parade embarks the fall festival of the season

Local communities in New Albany participate in the kickstart to the fall week of fun, food and time together


Candace Leilani

The parade was escorted by the New Albany Police Department.

Candace Leilani, Staff Reporter

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  • The New Albany High School marching band and colorguard made an appearance in the parade down Spring Street.

  • IU sent out an organ cart to play uplifting, catchy chords for those sitting on the sidelines of Spring Street.

  • The New Albany High School color guard wore their school colors to perform in the parade.

  • Brian Groves, pictured as the Greenville Volunteer Fire Department’s mascot, ”Probie the Fire puppy.”

  • Chancellor Ray Wallace made an appearance on the back of a convertible BMW supporting IU Southeast.

  • The New Albany Fire Department got involved with the children sitting outside the firehouse passing out plastic fireman hats.

  • 51 years of fun times, food and fall obsessions. Harvest Homecoming is the largest, growing local festival to the New Albany area and is famous for their pumpkin mascot pictured on the keychain.

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Saturday, Oct. 6,  was the kickoff of the locally famous Harvest Homecoming. The parade showing many local service people, community businesses and youth-oriented activities gave not only a chance for the community to clap their support to those walking, but it was a fun day for families to spend time together.

Both sides of Spring Street were packed. Families sat on the curbs with their children reaching out for candy from parade walkers. 94 groups walked in this parade with their floats, banners and smiles.

Fire departments, police departments, government clubs, dance teams, the New Albany marching band and more were involved in this parade showing their support to New Albany and to Harvest Homecoming.

Chancellor Ray Wallace rode in the back of a convertible beamer to show the support of IU Southeast within the community. Behind him were dozens of students from various clubs or sports teams who walked and wore their IU Southeast shirt or jerseys.

Indiana University even had a trailer pulled in the parade behind Chancellor Wallace of an organ car playing a tune while slowly moving down Spring Street.

Shauna and Brian Groves, volunteer firefighters for the Greenville Volunteer Fire Department, said they were very thankful to be a part of this year’s parade.

Shauna’s husband, Brian, was the one who reached out to the Harvest Homecoming committee to enter their local chapter of firefighting into the parade.  His costume head for the fire department’s mascot, ”Probie the Fire puppy,” was made by Brian himself.

Over 3 days, Brian researched, built and manufactured the piece he wore for Harvest Homecoming. “I wanted to make it something for the fire department to connect with the community. We have a lot of interaction with kids so I thought this would bring a smile to kids faces.  It made the parade experience for me very memorable.”

Crowds were excited just as those walking in the parade. Alli Stumler, 19, found herself coming to the parade to support her friend, Stephen Cook, walking with the IUS basketball team, but enjoyed every minute at the parade.

As each year comes around and Harvest Homecoming gets set up, Stumler looks forward to spending time with friends, finding great, homemade food and searching out unique booths and their sale items.

“I hope to see the same decorative, fun booths. My favorite thing is looking at what every booth sells and the different decorations,” Stumler said. Look for updates throughout the week on what events are coming up, history about Harvest and other information for this festive week on the Harvest Homecoming website.