Residents and vacationists gathered along avenues and side streets in a 23F cold Saturday morning in Brookings, South Dakota to witness the 2012 Hobo Day parade. The event was part of the week-long celebration commemorating 100 years of Hobos.
I was never a fan of the Hobo Day parade, to start with. In fact, in all my years of living in Brookings, I had only watched the parade twice. The first time was out of curiosity being a neophyte of the place. The second time was in 2009 when a friend asked (read: dragged) me to accompany her. That was it. The event never captured my interest at first sight.
Also: See all my travel adventures here.
Today, October 27th, and three years after, I decided to be a spectator once again. A centennial celebration of Hobo Days would agitate the dying enthusiasm in me, so I thought. Positioned opposite the popular campanile landmark, I noticed a much larger crowd this year. Kids running around with their candy buckets. Students chanting “Jackrabbits!” Young and old alike curling in camping chairs with their comforters.
The parade started on the dot. A marching band kicked off the fanfare with some festive beats. One group followed another. A slightly decorated car followed a group of dog lovers. As expected, politicians were busy
vote-buying a.k.a. shaking hands. See photos I took:
Was I finally lured into the charm of Hobo Day? Maybe. I was expecting more fanciful and colorful floats, not just a long array of cars with people inside waving. Considering that it was a 100-year celebration, I was hoping to see a spectacle that will linger in my mind days after it is over. Although, there were improvements of the parade this year from the last time I watched it, it still fell short of my expectations.
The parade started at 9:30 in the morning and ended in just a little over an hour. Few minutes after the last group passed the campanile, the spectators dispersed. A couple of minutes more and the streets looked like any ordinary day — like no parade has ever occurred few minutes back. Twenty minutes later, while I sat on one of the makeshift bleachers, the streets were devoid of any human being once again. Where have all the people gone? Home.
I stood and started walking back home with hopes (still) that next year will be more festive!
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Where to stay in Brookings, South Dakota.
Super 8 Brookings Sd (around $85 a night)
Situated in Brookings, Super 8 Brookings Sd is close to McCrory Gardens, South Dakota State University, and Edgebrook Golf Course. Also nearby is Children’s Museum of South Dakota. Super 8 Brookings Sd has an indoor pool and a spa tub. Complimentary wireless Internet access is available in public areas. There is a business center on site. Guests are served a complimentary breakfast each morning. Additional amenities include laundry facilities and complimentary newspapers in the lobby. Complimentary self parking is available onsite for guests. The 5 guestrooms at Super 8 Brookings Sd include air conditioning. Complimentary wireless high-speed Internet access is provided. Rooms are equipped with flat-screen TVs with cable channels. In-room microwaves and refrigerators are provided.
Quality Inn (around $94 a night)
Situated in the heart of Brookings, Quality Inn is close to McCrory Gardens, South Dakota State University, and Edgebrook Golf Course. Also nearby is Children’s Museum of South Dakota. Guests are served a complimentary breakfast. In addition to a fitness center, Quality Inn features complimentary newspapers in the lobby. Wireless Internet access is complimentary in public areas. Self parking is complimentary. The 50 air-conditioned guestrooms at Quality Inn include coffee/tea makers and hair dryers. Guests can use the in-room complimentary wireless high-speed Internet access. Televisions are equipped with cable channels. All accommodations provide phones along with free local calls (restrictions may apply). All units feature microwaves and refrigerators.
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Brookings (around $120 a night)
Situated in Brookings, Holiday Inn Express & Suites Brookings is close to McCrory Gardens, South Dakota State University, and Edgebrook Golf Course. Also nearby is Children’s Museum of South Dakota. Holiday Inn Express & Suites Brookings has an indoor pool, a spa tub, and a fitness center. Additional amenities include multilingual staff, laundry facilities, and coffee/tea in the lobby. Self parking is complimentary. Guestrooms at Holiday Inn Express & Suites Brookings offer complimentary newspapers and coffee/tea makers. Televisions are equipped with premium cable channels. All accommodations provide desks along with free local calls (restrictions may apply). In-room microwaves and refrigerators are provided. Additional amenities include hair dryers and irons/ironing boards.