In the years that followed, homecoming faded into the background of university life. As school spirit waxed and waned over the next three decades, the festivities were sporadically revived, with varying degrees of success. An eleven-year lull was broken in 2007, when a serious effort was made to restore homecoming to its former glory, with a parade, carnival, and other activities. In 2008, however, the parade was dropped. This year, as the Observer went to press in mid-September, the Michigan Student Assembly had few plans to celebrate homecoming.
In 1965, a Dylanesque "hard rain" fell on the inaugural U-M homecoming parade. But Ann Arbor, like most of the country, is much quieter today than it was forty-four years ago. When the parade and pageantry make their inevitable return to campus, event organizers will probably enjoy clearer skies.
Alan Glenn is making a documentary film on Ann Arbor in the 1960s. See www.modernmajorfilms.com.
[Originally published in October, 2009.]
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