A core group of 17 students plan the 104-year tradition of the biggest one-day event in the Dakotas and the week of events leading up to it.
The Hobo Day Committee has been working all year to ensure Hobo Week runs smoothly and gets students and community members excited about SDSU’s homecoming.
According to Grand Pooba Corey Chicoine, the committee’s main goal this year has been to improve Hobo Week events and encourage greater student engagement during the week.
Hobo Week Events
One of the biggest changes in events this year is the Hobolympics, said senior apparel merchandising major Brianna Doran. What was formerly known as the Great Hobo Race has been revamped into a series of point-based challenges including build a bindle, “how far can you spit” and bobbing for apples.
Doran, assistant pooba for events, oversees five student event coordinators. These coordinators are in charge of planning all of the events throughout Hobo Week.
Marketing and Promotions
Generating more student interest is something the team has been trying to achieve through their advertising, said Anna Chicoine, senior English major.
The marketing and promotions team is comprised of three students, including Anna, who is the assistant pooba for marketing.
“We want to get students to have those memories that are specific to SDSU because they chose to come here for a reason,” she said. “We want to give them that experience.”
Due to construction for the Alumni Green on Medary Avenue, the staging area for the dignitaries, who are visiting leaders, incumbent politicians, faculty and community leaders, had to be moved for this year’s parade, said Scott Simons, assistant pooba for parade.
Simons, junior economics major, oversees the six parade coordinators who are each in charge of different aspects of the parade. The student committee manages all transportation, bands, floats, special entries and animals, dignitaries and security.
Simons said the number of parade entries has increased over the last few years. He said this is a trend the Hobo Day Committee is fortunate to see, but it has made putting a fixed time length on the parade more difficult.
How to Apply
Corey said the interview process is laid-back and centered on bringing out personalities that are outgoing and easy to get along with because of how much time the committee spends together.
“A lot of people think that Hobo Day is seasonal and we just do stuff in the fall. We’re working year round and [the work] is increasing a lot,” Corey said.
Before spring semester ends, the grand pooba and committee will have chosen a tagline for next year’s Hobo Week and will have selected the official button design. They will also be working with the Students’ Association to get their yearly funding.
Over the summer the committee represents SDSU in parades across South Dakota to get the date of Hobo Day out in the public eye.
When the school year begins again next fall, said Chicoine, the new committee will get right back into the swing of things, pinning down all event details and making sure Hobo Day lives up to its legacy.