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Mary Beenken, Published October 03 2010

Parade shows off Cobber spirit

In a true display of Cobber spirit, hundreds of avid Concordia College alumni, students and fans turned out Saturday to celebrate at its homecoming parade.

Stretching a dozen blocks along Eighth Street South, the parade featured 66 entries from the school and community.

Provost and Dean Mark Krejci said seeing school pride displayed by parade watchers and participants is the best part of the parade.

“The crowd turns out for it,” Krejci said, “and there’s such spirit in the people who come to see it.”

According to Krejci, school spirit is an essential element of the parade. Each entry was judged by a panel made up of a Concordia student and two faculty members on the basis of how well school spirit was displayed. Concordia’s resident life staff took first place.

For Rachelle Hinkley, whose 10-year-old daughter, Andrea, was on the American Gold Gymnastics float, the best part of this year’s parade was the favorable weather.

“This is the first year we haven’t had to wear mittens or hats or blankets,” she said. “They actually got to show off their leotards.” The past two years, the parade was held in rainy or cold conditions.

One group that especially appreciated the weather was Cobber Nation, a group of dedicated Concordia fans who attend each football game bare-chested, regardless of weather, and help lead the crowd in cheering on the team.

Alumnus Mike Reponen, who marched with Cobber Nation this year, said that in previous years, they forwent warm clothes despite the weather.

“We were still shirtless,” Reponen said.

According to Reponen, this year’s parade was much easier for the group.

“The sun felt really good today,” he said.

Sandy Knudsvig and her husband, Ardell, marched with the Class of 1960, which this year celebrates its 50th class reunion.

“It’s fun to still be walking at 50,” Knudsvig says.

For members of the Class of 1960, this year marked the last opportunity to march in the parade as a class, but Knudsvig said she doesn’t mind.

“I can handle it,” she said with a smile.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Mary Beenken at (701) 235-7311