State delegations parade into town

Mock Con state delegations build state-themed floats to kick-off the weekend with the Delegates’ Parade


Ellen Kanzinger

First place winner Guam shows off with a hot tub on the float. Photo by Ellen Kanzinger, ‘18.

Caroline Jervis

Floats rolled down Lexington’s Main Street on Friday morning, as state delegations displayed their state pride in Mock Convention’s Delegates’ Parade.

Though Mock Convention is one of Washington and Lee’s more serious traditions, the kick-off Delegates’ Parade allows W&L students to get creative.

The Delegates’ Parade became a part of Mock Convention during the mid-20th century. The tradition still stands, as state delegates ride their self-designed floats through downtown Lexington.

Excitement buzzed around campus, as students had never before participated in the parade.

“I’m so excited. Everyone’s been talking about it, and I just can’t wait to see all the hard work everyone has been putting into their floats,” Washington State delegate Patrick Murphy, ‘18, said before the parade.

In the week before the parade, delegations met across campus to build and put the finishing touches on their self-made floats.   

“I think it will look good. A lot of people helped. It was definitely a unique experience,” Vermont delegate Kamryn McPike, ‘16, said while building the state’s float.

At 9:30 a.m., the delegates and their floats began the procession. Lexington Police blocked all traffic from Main Street for the parade. The parade was organized alphabetically and included the five U.S. territories as well.

Lexington residents, students and Mock Con guests lined the streets to watch. Delegates from each state flashed their state pride, embracing an integral part of the Mock Con experience.

Delegates and parade-goers alike bundled up to keep warm from the below-freezing weather and braved the chill to watch the quadrennial parade.

“I think it went really well. Most of my delegation pitched in to help out with the float so it was nice to see everything put together. I was very proud,” Vermont State Chair Elizabeth Schmitz, ‘17, said of her float.

Delegations worked to best capture the personality of their states, and designing the floats allowed W&L students to show their creative and clever sides.

The Vermont delegation created a Ben & Jerry’s-themed float and created their own flavor: Mock Cone-Vention. The New Jersey delegation created a “NJ Waste Management” float, and the West Virginia delegation reclined in rocking chairs on their double-decker float. Montana delegates dressed as skiers on the Montana float, while Guam delegates relaxed in a hot tub on the Guam float.

“I think it was a nice way for everyone on the delegations, including the state chairs to have a break from the seriousness of the event, and just really get together and enjoy what is Mock Convention,” Florida delegate Amanda Meador, ‘18, said.