University Communications

USI’s “family tradition” portrayed through award-winning Fall Festival Parade float

October 08, 2012 |
Article Photo
The Wright quintuplets represent USI in the 2012 Westside Nut Club Fall Festival Parade.
Photo Credit: USI Photography Services

To coincide with theme of the 91st annual Westside Nut Club Fall Festival, the Office of Special Events enlisted the help of Alumni and Volunteer Services to identify generations of USI alumni to ride on the float and represent USI in this year’s parade. Participating families included:

Christina Will, mother, class of 1997 and 2011
Eddie Crabtree, son, class of 2015
River, son, class of 2030

Janine Purvis, mother, class of 1993 and 1999
David Purvis, father, class of 1998
Dakota Purvis, daughter,  class of 2015 and currently studying abroad in Australia

Emily Wright, mother, class of 2006 and 2013
Rob Wright, father, class of 2012
Ethan, Peyton, Landon, Jenna, Sydney; children (quintuplets), class of 2029

Carol Schmitt, mother, class of 1998
Reid Schmitt, son, class of 2011

As he has for the past 25 years, Jerry Bulger, maintenance supervisor in the Physical Plant, constructed the elaborate float that made its way down Franklin Street on Saturday night during the annual parade. Each family group had a lighted sign displaying their names and graduation years (or projected graduation years). In addition, Bulger sculpted a large soaring eagle that sat at the rear of the float carrying a USI banner. 

Bulger and his team in the Physical Plant dedicated more than 70 hours to constructing the soaring eagle, whose wing tip reached nearly 13 feet off the ground.

“Our goal is to come up with something unique every year that will represent the University well,’ said Bulger. “I enjoy the challenge.”

The parade judges must have felt that Bulger and his team achieved that goal, because they selected USI’s float as the winner of the Westside Nut Club Fall Festival Parade 2012 President’s Award.

“Jerry is so creative,” said Phyllis Oeth, assistant director of Special Events. “The USI float always draws a good response from parade-goers, and this year was no exception. The handcrafted eagle was simply amazing.”

University of Southern Indiana
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Evansville, Indiana 47712 Phone 812/464-8600
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