450 flames light torch parade

Anthony Onwuegbuchu, mechanical engineering junior, at the homecoming torchlight parade, Oct. 19. Photo by Sara Keeling

Campus streets radiated with the warm light of 450 torches held by students, faculty and staff as they marched toward the annual bonfire on Oct. 19 as part of homecoming festivities. Student organizations took part in presenting the final round of the lip-sync competition, where Alpha Psi Omega, the cheerleaders and the Caribbean Student Organization battled for the victory. Results of the competition will be announced at the football game against West Texas A&M at halftime on Saturday, Oct. 21.

Ruby Arriaga, activities coordinator, led the parade, clapping and smiling as torches lit up behind her.

“This is the first time that I was in the front making sure everything was great instead of rushing over here with the trash cans,” Arriaga said. “It looked like a lot of students were having fun, they were cheering with the band and cheering with the cheerleaders so it went really well.”

Members of the University Programming Board had 500 torches to be handed out for the parade — 100 fewer than last year.

“I just want to be apart of all the traditions they have here,” Sierra Martinez, early childhood education freshman, said. “I’ve never heard of a torchlight parade before and never been a part of one. Just the fact that we all come together as one instead of dividing among the campus is really unique and good.”

Students were dancing through the streets, torches in hand, showing their school spirit.

“This is my fourth year in college, and my fourth year coming out to this,” Kaleb Akona, mechanical engineering, said. “It looks like 300 people are out here and their torches light up the whole place up and it’s cool. This is a week where we have more school spirit and people from all organizations come out, you get to see all new people and a lot of fire.”

More quotes from students

  • “It’s lit. It’s always lit. I love the tradition of the torchlight parade because everyone is so hyped up and ready to party. I can’t lie, this city is dusty, but homecoming is when this campus comes to life.” – Jaylon Williams, economics and sociology senior.
  • “I love holding fire. The bonfire is amazing, but getting to march with the rest of the students is the best part.” – Lia Wiley, radiology sophomore.
  • “Walking toward the big stack of pallets with the band, the students and cheerleaders is just great. I have loved carrying the torch in the past and I love doing it now. I’ve kept up with the lip sync thus far, and am so excited to see the final round.” – Lupe Munoz, nursing sophomore.
  • “I’m especially excited because today is my birthday. I’m 22, and I’m happy to spend part of my night here with my fellow Mustangs. Every year, the torchlight parade gets better and better. My freshman year I just participated, but every year since I’ve been able to help coordinate the event with the Residence Hall Association. It’s my last bonfire. I traded my other college T-shirt and I’m ready to watch it burn.” – Ashley Ates, global studies senior.
  • “Homecoming is always great because you get to see the students realize that Midwestern really is a second home. These kinds of events create a campus pride. It really is funny because I actually went to college in the ’90s and things are a lot different. It’s nice.” – Kristi Schulte, director of residence life and housing.
  • “The bonfire is cool until it melts your face off. It gets so hot so fast, and you can feel the flames from the street. As for homecoming as a whole, so far so good. I’ve liked the events, but I could have sworn we had more torches in the past. We have a lot more students than we do torches.” – Addison Kassady, management sophomore.

Additional reporting by Brendan Wynne

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Trey Honea, Criminal Justice Sophmore, ends the torch light parade by blowing out his torch as he and his friends make their way towards the bonfire, Thursday, Oct 19,2017. Photo by Sara Keeling
Trey Honea, Criminal Justice Sophmore, ends the torch light parade by blowing out his torch as he and his friends make their way towards the bonfire, Thursday, Oct 19,2017. Photo by Sara Keeling
Keelie Ralston, kinesiology junior, and Alicia Mayhugh, kinesiology junior, get ready to start the torchlight parade at MSU on Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017. Photo by Harlie David
Keelie Ralston, kinesiology junior, and Alicia Mayhugh, kinesiology junior, get ready to start the torchlight parade at MSU on Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017. Photo by Harlie David
Autumn Duval, early childhood education freshman, enjoys the torchlight parade at MSU on Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017. Photo by Harlie David
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Anthony Onwuegbuchu, mechinical enginering junior , at the homecoming torch light parade, Thurday , Oct 19,2017. Photo by Sara Keeling
Anthony Onwuegbuchu, mechinical enginering junior , at the homecoming torch light parade, Thurday , Oct 19,2017. Photo by Sara Keeling
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