The Department of Student Activities is now accepting entries from student organizations wanting to decorate and present floats in the annual Homecoming parade on Oct. 26.The theme of this year’s Homecoming, which is sponsored by Student Activities and the Alumni Association, is “Paint the Town Orange”.” ‘Paint the Town Orange’ is an idea that came from the students. We are working real hard to involve students in Homecoming activities,” said Kevin Hayes, director of the Alumni Association. “We want to increase input from students and encourage participation.” This year, students will take the Homecoming theme literally. Student Activities will be contacting area businesses, inquiring if students may paint the windows orange in honor of Homecoming festivities.The university is welcoming community groups outside the university to enter floats in the parade as well.”We are really trying to promote (Homecoming) in the community,” said Hayes. “We also want to encourage student groups to make floats and participate. Last year, may groups did a great job and we hope they will participate again.”Unlike past years in which the parade was held during a weeknight, this year’s parade will take place the Saturday morning of Homecoming.”Historically, the parade has been held during the week, except for one time when it was held the Saturday of the game,” said Hayes. “Dr. Gaertner formed a traditions committee charged to explore traditions that SHSU had over the years. We decided to move the parade back to the Saturday of the football game to revisit that tradition.”This year, a committee comprised of members of both the university and community worked hard to plan Homecoming activities. “The committee consisted of people from the community, Student Activities, Student Government and people from all aspects involved with Homecoming,” said Hayes. “Our number one objective is to schedule events to encourage student participation and encourage alumni to come back and participate,” said Hayes. Student Activities offers a contest in which the floats will be judged. Cash prizes will be awarded for the winners in three divisions: groups or departments registered with the university, community organization floats and non-float motor vehicles.The floats will be judged on creativity, appearance, and use of the theme “Paint the Town Orange”.Prizes include $200, $100 and $50 for the first- second- and third-place winners, and trophies for floats selected as “Best All-Around”, “Most Creative”, “Best Use of Theme” and “President’s Choice”.Lineup of all floats will begin at 9 a.m. in the parking lot on the corner of Bowers Boulevard and Sam Houston Avenue. The parade itself will begin at 10 a.m.The parade route will extend north on Sam Houston Avenue to the courthouse, where floats will veer right onto 12th Street. The parade will end at the Region VI parking lot across from Bank of America.Winning entries will be announced at the tailgate party in the Bowers Stadium Parking lot, which begins at 11:30 a.m., preceding the homecoming game against McNeese State.Winners will also be recognized during the half-time festivities of the game.The Department of Student Activities and the Alumni Association encourage both students and members of the community to come out and enjoy the festivities. “At the tailgate party, we will have a live concert, a paint gun arcade and military equipment on display,” said Hayes. “The ROTC group will have a rock wall and the Alumni group will have a moonwalk.”Entry forms for organizations wishing to participate in the contest are available at Student Activities in Lowman Student Center Suite 328. Entry forms are due on Oct. 23 by 5 p.m.Organizations may participate in the parade without entering the contest. Interested groups may call the Department of Student Activities at 294-2861 or the Office of Alumni Relations at 294-1841 for more information.