Silobration may now rival Baylor Homecoming in its visitor-drawing power, pulling more than 20,000 people to downtown Waco over its three-day run, but it doesn’t have a parade, a football game or thousands of friendships that get renewed each year — the latter being the true heart of Homecoming.

For Saturday morning, though, it’s all about the parade that winds from Eighth Street and Austin Avenue, beginning at 8 a.m., and this year there’s even more to wind.

The parade will feature 170 entries, which includes 10 floats and eight balloons, and Baylor University’s new president Linda Livingstone will serve as parade marshal.

Two new balloons will debut, one for Baylor’s Christmas on Fifth Street celebration and the other the City of Waco’s Flying W logo, pulled along by volunteers from the Junior League of Waco. The latter represents a growing involvement in the parade from Waco participants and downtown Waco’s development over the last few years adds an energy to the parade route, said director of student activities Matt Burchett.

The expansion of the parade balloons, too, gives more Baylor students a chance to take part in the parade outside of the floats decorated, peopled and driven by student and Greek organizations, he said.

For those who’d rather watch from bedside than curbside, KCEN-TV, Channel 6, will televise it beginning at 8:30 a.m. and will stream the broadcast on its website, www.kcentv.com.

Other traditional Homecoming activities remain in place for the weekend. Pigskin Revue, the leading acts from last spring’s Baylor Sing, will perform at Waco Hall on Thursday, Friday and Saturday afternoon, the latter due to the 7 p.m. kickoff at McLane Stadium.

Fans and alumni of the choral/devotional Singspiration meet Friday night, with the Homecoming pep rally and bonfire — the first Baylor one for new football head coach Matt Rhule — following at Fountain Mall, with fireworks capping the evening.

Tribune-Herald entertainment editor