The annual Hobo March, first held around 1953, was a fundraising event put on by Tau Alpha Pi, the vocational club at Boise Junior College. Members of the club would dress up as “hobos” and wander the streets of Boise panhandling to raise money for vocational scholarships. Drama students applied makeup to the participants, and each club member would carry a tool that reflected their desired vocation. Prizes were awarded to students with the best costumes. After parading through the streets in “jalopies,” the bums would gather to drink coffee and eat beans from cans. Earlier processions were fronted by a German band arranged by Mr. Best, a music professor, occasionally including a calliope among the instruments. Over the next several years, the Hobo March became increasingly popular, drawing over a hundred costumed students some years. Across more than three decades, the event cumulatively raised over $300,000.
April 10, 1956. April 17, 1956. May 10, 1973. April 17, 1970. May 2, 1974. October 16, 1989.
Written by Rachel Taylor, Summer 2019 intern