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Grove City College’s marching band started the parade held in downtown Grove City on Saturday. The college celebrated its homecoming with a variety of events and activities such as food, sporting events and tours of the campus.

GROVE CITY – Foliage starting to burst with autumn’s colors, temperatures in the low 60s with the smell of hot cider made Saturday an ideal day for Grove City College’s homecoming celebration.

The annual parade drew a huge crowd. Killian Foster and his wife Jenna from Wexford, both 2012 graduates of the college, made an unplanned trip to homecoming.

“We were supposed to be around Tampa, Fla. now,’’ Killian said. “But the hurricane (Ian) changed our minds.’’

Their plans for the day include mingling with fellow graduates and eating lunch somewhere in town.

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The Zeta Zeta Zeta fraternity at Grove City College created a zany float for Saturday’s parade in downtown Grove City. The parade was part of the college’s homecoming celebration.

Organizations and businesses not affiliated with the college also participated in the day.

Tower Presbyterian Church held an outreach table with offering doughnuts and coffee along the parade route.

“We ran out of doughnuts pretty fast,’’ Lisa Flick, the church’s outreach director said with a laugh.

After the parade children were invited to pick small pumpkins laid outside the church to decorate under a tent which they took home.

The college takes advantage of the day by offering tours to perspective students, honoring past graduates, food and athletic events.

Around 3,000 were expected to attend the festivities.

Plans for the next homecoming begin even before the current one is completed, said Tricia Corey, Grove City College’s manager of programs and events alumni college relations.

“I’ve been emailing reminders to myself all day on how we can make next year’s better,’’ Corey said.

This year’s homecoming theme was “All Roads Lead Home.’’

“Alumni love being back and reuniting with their classmates,’’ she said.

Of course, the Homecoming tradition included a home football game — against Case Western Reserve of Cleveland. Grove City won 14-13.

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