The Citadel: Friday's, Rain Dances, and Parades

Cadets march onto Summerall Field at the beginning of the Corps Day parade, March 2011. photo by Stanley Leary
1st Battalion marches onto Summerall Field. photo by Stanley Leary

It is Friday. For most college kids that means it is time to gear up for a party. For cadets at The Citadel, it means a parade in the afternoon. ┬áThese aren’t the kind of parades we attend in our home towns, but a military parade. The parents and visitors love to watch as the Regimental Band and Pipes┬álead the way. Cadets pour out of the barracks, marching in formation onto the parade field. Cadets aren’t as thrilled about marching in the parades. They pray for rain on parade days.

Members of The Citadel Regimental Band and Pipes. photo by Stanley Leary


In a time-honored tradition, the upper class cadets encourage the knobs (first year cadets) to dance in a circle in front of the company letter in an effort to encourage the rain clouds to open up so the parade will be cancelled. Parents and visitors, on the other hand, enjoy seeing the parades, listening to the band and pipes play, and straining to find your cadet in the sea of young people all dressed exactly a like.

So today, with a 40% chance of rain in Charleston, I imagine the cadets are gearing up for a rain dance.

Members of The Citadel Band photo by Stanley Leary
Members of The Citadel Band photo by Stanley Leary

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