BHSU celebrates 2014 Swarm Days

Author: BHSU Communications/Tuesday, September 23, 2014/Categories: 2014

           The BHSU Residence Life East Complex has fun during the 2014 Swarm Days Parade. The organization took second place in Best Student Organization float.

           BHSU fans socialize at the tailgate celebration before the 2014 Swarm Days football game.

Sting was the word at the 2014 Swarm Days celebration.

The Black Hills State University homecoming day kicked off Saturday morning with a parade in downtown Spearfish. This year&rsquos Parade Marshals Sandra and Tad Addy lead the festive parade. Community and BHSU floats paraded through town with the theme "Sting Lightning."

Highlights of the parade included student organization floats and the Western Hills Humane Society. The local animal rescue group dressed dogs in Yellow Jacket costumes and stopped to along the parade route to let children pet the animals. The group also passed out dog treats to furry parade attendees.

The animal treats pleased Julie Altaffer, who along with her dog Kiyah was visiting her daughter Stacia from Sundance, Wyo.

"I told my daughter wouldn&rsquot it be neat if they threw out dog treats instead of candy," Julie said. "And they did."

Stacia, an applied health sciences major at BHSU, is celebrating her first Swarm Days.

"All the Grease decorated floats were a lot of fun &ndash I love the movie," Stacia said. "There&rsquos been such great school spirit this week. It&rsquos been great to see everyone come together for events."

Stacia attended the parade and football game, as well as the burning of the BH and pep rally and Soda Shoppe during the week.

This year 70 floats entered the Swarm Days parade. Parade winners were announced during half time of the football game. The winners were:

&middot Best Community Float: Spearfish Gymnastics Academy

&middot Best Band: Spearfish Eighth Grade Band

&middot First Place BHSU Student Organization: Props and Liners Theater Society

&middot Second Place BHSU Student Organization: Residence Life East Complex

&middot Third Place BHSU Student Organization: BHSU Art Club

Once the parade concluded, many attended the tailgate at Lyle Hare Stadium, reminiscing with old BHSU classmates and socializing before the Swarm Days football game against Fort Lewis, Colo. The Yellow Jackets defeated Fort Lewis 40-14.

Jim Rarick, a BHSU alumni who lives in Spearfish, has been coming to BHSU football games since 1977 and he classifies the Swarm Days game as one of the top two games of the Yellow Jacket&rsquos season.

"Last year we really missed out (due to winter storm Atlas which caused the parade and game to be cancelled) and everyone realized how much we loved and missed Swarm Days," Rarick said.  "I really enjoy the game, the Hall of Fame banquet each year and seeing our community support the University. We support it very well."

Travis Thorn and Kelly Merager, both BHSU alumni who played football in the 1990s, caught up at the tailgate prior to the football game. Merager, from Cody, Wyo., was a quarterback and Thorn, from Kadoka, was a wide receiver. The two shared stories of past game days.

"It&rsquos great seeing the guys you played with &ndash we&rsquove seen quite a few this year," Thorn said.

Merager added that his former teammates try to gather together every few years for a mini reunion.  

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