Community support connects Brookings with campus


Hobo Day is just around the corner, and people from all over will be coming to Brookings to celebrate. I think that every town, especially every college town, should have an annual celebration like this. 

Hobo Day is something special that makes Brookings and South Dakota State University unique. Aside from the fact that it is called “Hobo Day” and it is a day that celebrates hobos, it brings together the community. In fact, I think that’s what is great about Brookings itself. 

In my opinion, Brookings is just the right size. It’s small enough so that you know most of the people in it, but there are still a variety of things to do in town. Brookings is the perfect size for creating a good sense of community.

It is funny to hear people who have never heard of Hobo Day ask about it because they do not understand why there would be a celebration of homelessness. The word “hobo” has come to have a negative connotation and is generally associated with homelessness. Although this word is defined as somebody who does not have a settled home and wanders from place to place, it is not quite the same thing as being homeless. Perhaps “drifters” better describes the people being celebrated during Hobo Day, but “Drifter Day” does not quite have the same ring to it. If you think about it, it is sort of strange that we have a Hobo Day celebration, but it is partly the strangeness of it that makes it so endearing. 

Alumni come back to celebrate, even people who have no tie to SDSU or Brookings come to celebrate. I think it is just human nature to love celebrations because it is an excuse to let loose, have fun and socialize. It is not often that an entire town gets together for a celebration. Yes, there are holiday celebrations throughout the year, but, even then, the entire town is not involved. There seems to hardly be anyone who does not participate in the Hobo Day festivities. 

From the events going on during the week, to the parade, to the football game—this holiday of sorts brings the community together more than any other I have seen. 

What’s great about it is that, even though it is an SDSU event, the entire town is there. Brookings is incredibly supportive of SDSU, not only of Hobo Day, which makes it that much better. I am from out of state, and that is one of the draws of this place. I’m not talking about Hobo Day, though I do love Hobo Day. 

I’m talking about the community. Even being from out of town, this place has a way of feeling like home. It seems that I am not the only one who Hobo Day and Brookings have won over. Have a fun, but also safe, Hobo Day.