As part of the Homecoming 2015 Sesquicentennial Celebration, the traditional Homecoming Parade for Fairmont State University, sponsored by ACE Hardware, will begin at 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 22, in downtown Fairmont.
The Office of Student Activities has selected legendary Fairmont State basketball coach Joe Retton as parade marshal.
Retton was named WVIAC and NAIA District 28 Coach of the Year six times. He was named NAIA Coach of the Year in 1969 and 1976 and Associated Press Small College Coach of the Year in 1975-1976. He coached and produced nine All-Americans: Dwight Conaway, Dave Miller, John Jamerson, Dave Cooper, Lerman Battle, Bill Lindsey, Dave Moore, Vance Carr, Leroy Loggins. His teams made 12 NAIA Tournament appearances, four times to the Final Four; the 1967-1968 squad went to the finals. Retton had 18 straight seasons of 20 or more victories. The 1975-1976 team was ranked first in the Final Associated Press Small College Basketball Poll. Two teams had undefeated regular seasons: 1970-1971 and 1975-1976. Retton's teams competed in 12 WVIAC Championships. Retton was the "winningest" collegiate coach by percentage in the nation. In 1987, he was inducted into the NAIA Coaches Hall of Fame; he was inducted into the West Virginia Sports Hall of Fame in 1988 and the Fairmont State College Hall of Fame in 1993. He had a career record of 478-95 (83.6 percent).
Before the parade, FSU alumni, current students and the community are invited to Experience Downtown beginning at 4:30 p.m. Music students from the FSU Academy for the Arts, directed by Leigh Anne Bolyard, will perform musical selections on the steps of the Marion County Courthouse. Main Street Fairmont and the Fairmont State Alumni Association encourage parade-goers to visit downtown businesses and organizations such as Adams Office Supply, the Marion County Historical Society, the Arts and Antiques Marketplace and more.
Line-up for the parade will begin at 5 p.m. at Everest Drive and Kirkway Drive below the Marion County Rescue Squad. The parade begins at 6 p.m. The route will run up Fourth Street right onto Fairmont Avenue, which becomes Adams Street, and will pause in front of the Marion County Courthouse for student organization float judging. The parade will end near Veterans’ Square.
“A partnership between the Fairmont State Alumni Association and ACE Hardware this year provided funding for student organizations for the creation of floats for the parade,” said Emily Swain, Director of Alumni Relations. “We would like to thank ACE Hardware for their generous support and look forward to seeing what the students are able to create for the parade.”
Immediately following the parade, the Fairmont State Alumni Association is hosting an Alumni Gathering at the Joe N’ Throw, 323 ½ Adams St. Admission is open to the public.
For more information about the parade lineup, contact the Office of Student Activities at (304) 333-3647. For a complete list of community events for the Homecoming 2015 Sesquicentennial Celebration, visit www.fairmontstate.edu/homecoming.