A homecoming dynasty

Erin Kennedy

Erin Kennedy

SDSU would not be the same without the Hobo Day traditions, but this year marks a first in Hobo Day history with the Grand Pooba stick being handed from one sister to another.

2008 Grand Pooba Bethany Wuttke, a senior human development and family studies major, followed in the footsteps of her sister, Kelsey, who reigned over last year’s Hobo Day.

“It definitely is a cool experience,” said this year’s Grand Pooba. “It is the first time that anyone can find in Hobo Day history that this has happened. The best part was definitely seeing my mom’s face, because it means so much for the Grand Pooba stick to be handed from my sister to me.”

The position of Grand Pooba includes getting all aspects of the parade in line. To help with all of these duties, seven people are selected to be on the Hobo Day Executive Committee and assist the Grand Pooba.

Duties of the Grand Pooba and the committee include lining up parade day floats, organizing and contacting local high school and college marching bands, driving dignitaries around during the parade, finding security and extra help from students to make the parade run as smoothly and safely as possible, as well as working with alumni relations from SDSU, community members from Brookings and SDSU faculty.

With so many duties and responsibilities, it is no wonder that Wuttke has asked for advice and assistance from her older sister a time or two.

“I have called my sister with endless questions,” Wuttke said. “She lives in Sioux Falls, so it is easy for her to come up to Brookings when I really need her help. It will be nice to have her standing on the corner with me on the day of the parade, as is the tradition to have the previous and current Grand Poobas on the corner on the day of the parade.”

One of the biggest challenges this year has been the parade route, because of the construction on Main Street.

“It has been a challenge, but we’ve worked through it,” said Wuttke. “We had to look at the layout of things and decide what route was best. We’ve worked a lot with the city and made it all work out. The parade is always difficult to start, but once it starts, it is fun to watch it all come together. It is unfortunate that we won’t be able to go downtown as we have in the past because downtown Brookings has such a cool atmosphere, but the parade will go on.”

Wuttke began her involvement with the University Programming Council by volunteering to be on various committees her freshman year and proceeded onto the recreation and travel committee her sophomore year. Her junior year, Wuttke was elected UPC Vice President, and finally, her senior year, she followed in her sister’s footsteps as Hobo Day Grand Pooba.

“I am most looking forward to the parade,” said Wuttke, “the bonfire that we’re bringing back will be a lot of fun too. We’re constantly trying to make these experiences better and more exciting every year. It will be very cool to see how it all turns out.”

#1.882436:4070380676.jpg:Wuttke.Profile.jpg::Ryley Dunn