With the big game against Missouri Southern University set for 4 p.m. on Saturday, Missouri Western State University spent the morning with a parade and family-centered events.

Western’s Homecoming Parade began at 9 a.m. near City Hall and circled around the Downtown area. Marching bands from local high schools as well as the university performed during the event, while students and faculty members cheered and danced along the path.

On campus, the fun continued, with tailgating and family events. Near the tailgating area, the Missouri Western Alumni Association offered a family-centered space for alumni and community members to enjoy.

“This has been a long-time event, that a group called Future Griffs supports here on campus through the Alumni Association,” sad Angie Spring, who is with the association. “The goal of this is to provide a fun opportunity for kids to come to, as alumni come back to campus for this awesome day to support their alma mater. They can bring their kids along and have something fun for them to do before they head over for the tailgate and then catch the football game.”

Springs said that the group wanted to give children kind of the experience of tailgating in a kid-friendly atmosphere.

“Today we have really just focused on more of an outdoor fun zone where we have cornhole and tic tac toe; we have hopscotch, we’re giving away free T-shirts for our Future Griffs. So anyone that comes to our table today will be able to take that with them and wear their Griffon pride.”

Even those who were not alumni of Western were welcome to bring their children to the area.

“We invite anyone to come have a great time with us during this,” Springs said. “Come back and support your Alma Mater; support Missouri Western. This is our university here in St. Joseph. We just want to provide a great opportunity for folks to come and support Western.”

Jessika Eidson can be reached

at jessika.eidson@newspressnow.com. Follow her on Twitter at @NPNowEidson