Aerial photograph of a parade float rounding a corner. People line the streets to see the parade.

VEISHEA Parade, 1994


Every year tens of thousands spectators line the VEISHEA parade route to watch this fantastic event, usually despite adverse weather conditions. The parade consists of floats, clowns, bands, novelty balloons, and a processional, which usually includes the Iowa State University President and other university officials, the VEISHEA Central Committee Co-Chairs, the President and Vice President of the Government of the Student Body, and a Parade Grand Marshall. Several famous people have traveled to Ames to be the Grand Marshall of the Parade, including Cecil B. DeMille (1952) and Ronald Reagan (1958). During the early years of VEISHEA, parade entries were mainly departmental, but now almost anyone can participate.< In 1975, due to the astronomical costs of creating floats organizers began allowing sponsorship of parade entries. The parade has been cancelled only four times: once during the Depression (1933) and three times during World War II (1943-1945). Students work day and night to construct floats for the VEISHEA parade.

Students building the frame of a parade float.

Students working on parade float, 1972

Students putting the finsishing touches on a parade float.  Image taken at night.

Students putting the final touches on their float the night before the parade, 1966


WOI television crew filming the VEISHEA parade

Televised since the 1950s, thousands of central Iowan's enjoy the VEISHEA Parade from the comfort of their homes. WOI Television crew filming the VEISHEA Parade, circa 1950s


Ronald Reagan in a convertible for the VEISHEA parade.

Ronald Reagan as the parade grand marshall for VEISHEA, 1958


VEISHEA parade with Ronald McDonald holding a banner in front of a parade float.

Parade float sponsored by McDonalds, VEISHEA Parade 1975


Parade 1994

Barker Brigade Lawn Chair Drill Team, VEISHEA Parade 1994


Parade, 1998

Iowa State Alumni Band float, VEISHEA Parade 1998