South Dakota State University's Independent Student-Run Newspaper Since 1885

The Collegian

South Dakota State University's Independent Student-Run Newspaper Since 1885

The Collegian

South Dakota State University's Independent Student-Run Newspaper Since 1885

The Collegian

Hobo Week Preview

File photo
One of the Bummobile’s most well-known passengers is President Dwight Eisenhower. He attended the 1952 Hobo Day during his election campaign.

South Dakota State University’s only student led band is scheduled to play at BumFire this year and it’s the only part of all the events happening during Hobo Week this year, Oct. 9-14.

“I was so happy that we were able to do this,” said lead singer Karter Kenis, lead singer for The Smokin Jacks. “We are pumped up for it. It’s gonna be a lot of fun!”

Kenis, a senior, and his bandmates Mason Machtemes, a sophomore, and Sawyer Lee, a senior, think their band is the only student led band on campus. All three have been playing music for years and were excited to get a band together.

The Smokin Jacks play southern rock country music, writing originals and singing covers.

They began their career playing at the Wild Hare, a local Brookings bar. The Smokin Jacks have since played for private events in Albert Lea, Minnesota. Over the summer, they opened for country singer Michael Ray at the Corn Palace in Mitchell, South Dakota.

The Smokin Jacks are scheduled to play at BumFire (north of the Sanford Jackrabbit Athletic Complex) on Thursday, Oct. 12 from 8:45 to 10:30 p.m.

Grand Pooba for Hobo Day, Marissa Vogt, said she has wanted to do a live band in past years. Vogt and the Hobo Day Committee are hoping that the band is loud enough to hear from campus and that makes people wonder what is going on and causes them to stop by.

This year BumFire will be “more than standing around a fire and drinking hot chocolate,” Vogt said. In addition to the band and bonfire, there will be yard games like bean bags and giant Jenga for attendees to play.

This is only one of the events happening during Hobo Week. The Hobo Day Committee, comprised of 18 students and one faculty adviser, has been working for the past nine months to plan this year’s events.

“Go to the events. I never experienced [the events] from the student side, I’ve only ever been on the committee and that is one thing I regret, not going to the events [as a student],” Vogt said, who is a transfer student.

Hobo Week begins on Monday with Bum-A-Meal. This is an opportunity for over 540 students to dress up like hobos and get a home cooked meal from a host family in the Brookings community. Registration opened Oct. 2 for this event, and it filled up quickly, so students need to be sure to sign up as soon as possible.   

“It’s definitely the coolest event,” said Ainsley Plack, member of the Hobo Day Committee. “It’s so cool to be able to network and get a home cooked meal from people in the community.”

Tuesday’s events include Bum Over and University Program Council (UPC) Mulligan Stew Cookoff. Bum Over is an opportunity for students to gather in the Volstorff Ballroom in the Student Union to form teams and build cardboard shanties.

The University Program Council’s Mulligan Stew Cookoff invites student organizations to make a stew for others to try and vote on which stew they think is the best.

The Rally at the Rails is Wednesday starting at 5 p.m. in downtown Brookings. This is an opportunity for members of the community and SDSU students to come together and celebrate the hobo spirit. There will be a live band, food trucks, a beanbag tournament, vendors, and speakers, including President Barry Dunn.

Friday night UPC is hosting Jacks Got Talent at the Oscar Larson Performing Arts Center at 6 p.m. This is an opportunity for students to showcase their talents. Participants can compete for a chance to win cash prizes or gift cards. Winners are selected by a panel of judges and the audience, according to information on Jacks Club Hub.

Hobo Day is Saturday and is the biggest one-day event in the Dakotas. The day begins with the Hobo Day Parade at 9.30 a.m. The parade is just over a mile long and features SDSU student organizations, The Pride of the Dakotas and other local high school bands. This event typically draws a huge crowd with people standing four to five deep in some spots along the route.

President Dunn has said that the past couple years have had some of the biggest crowds he’s ever seen, according to Matilyn Kerr, program adviser for university traditions.

While the event is popular with people in the Brookings community and beyond, it raises one of the biggest challenges the Hobo Day Committee faces. They need 40+ student volunteers to help organize and run things on the morning of the parade.

“Volunteering is a fun way to [be involved], truly you are just helping the school and the community,” Plack said.   

In addition to the parade, the football team plays the University of Northern Iowa at 2 p.m. This is a sold-out game with expected attendance of over 19,000.

To end the Hobo Week celebrations, the HNL11 Committee will host Hobo Night Live in the Oscar Larson Performing Arts Center from 7.30 p.m. – midnight. This is an opportunity for students to play games, attend live entertainment, and win prizes.

“South Dakota State University wouldn’t be here without Brookings, and I don’t know if Brookings would’ve seen the economic growth or success without the university thriving, so I’d say it’s very mutually beneficial and symbiotic in a way,” Kerr said. “I don’t know if any other university has the opportunity to do what we do here because the Brookings community is so inviting and inclusive.”


Correction: Oct. 11, 2023

A previous version of this article incorrectly identified the committee that oversees Hobo Night Live as the Hobo Day Committee. It has been corrected to give proper credit to the HNL11 Committee.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Collegian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *