Gypsy Days

Catch Maroon and Gold Fever during Gypsy Days.
When the leaves turn, something magical happens at NSU. A fever overtakes the campus and spreads throughout the community. It’s called Gypsy Days – a weeklong celebration during NSU homecoming.

Some say it’s the highlight of the whole year as a queen and marshal are crowned and all around Aberdeen, people display their pride in the NSU Wolves. It’s a week of football, volleyball and soccer games that culminates in the annual Gypsy Day Parade – the largest parade in South Dakota.

Make plans to visit NSU during Gypsy Days.



2017 Gypsy Day Parade

9 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017
2017 Schedule of Events

Sept. 25

Royalty Trivia Night – 7 to 10 p.m., Student Center Centennial Rooms

Students can get to know the 2017 Gypsy Day Royalty Court and play a trivia game that includes questions about the court members! Open to NSU students.


Sept. 26

Root Beer Pong Tournament – 6 p.m., Campus Green (weather location is Dacotah Hall Gym)

A tournament-style game that students play in teams of two while learning alcohol-related facts. Open to NSU students and co-sponsored by AWAREwolves.


Sept. 27

Lunch for a Buck – 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Campus Green

Enjoy Lunch for a Buck - walking tacos, cookies and lemonade - in honor of Gypsy Week! Open to NSU students.


A Party Tie Dye For (sponsored by AwareWolves) – 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Campus Green

Enjoy the adventure of tie-dying a T-shirt! AWAREwolves is sponsoring the event and will provide all supplies. Open to NSU students.


Capture the Flag – 6:30 p.m., Campus Green

Each team of students will try to be the first to recover their team’s flag before being tagged out by another team. Open to NSU students.


Sept. 28

Community Luncheon - 11:30 a.m., Student Center

The community luncheon is in conjunction with the NSU Foundation annual meeting.  Open to the public. Guests must RSVP to the Foundation Office at 605-626-2550 by Sept. 25.


Coronation – 7 p.m., Johnson Fine Arts Center Main Theater

Crowning ceremony for the Gypsy Days marshal and queen. Open to the public.


Burning of the N (food sponsored by Residence Life) – 8 p.m., Barnett Center parking lot

The newly-crowned Gypsy Days marshal and queen preside over the burning of the N, following a decades-long Northern tradition. A street dance follows. Open to the public.


Sept. 29

Bob Courtney Conference Room Dedication - 10 a.m.-noon, Student Center

At 11 a.m., NSU President Dr. Tim Downs will speak and reveal the conference room plaque. Bob Courtney was a longtime residence life director at NSU. This event is for the NSU community, alumni, and friends of NSU.


50-Year Club Luncheon - 11:30 a.m., Student Center

The 50-Year Club Reunion Luncheon is held annually to honor and induct NSU alumni who graduated 50 or more years ago.  For reservations, please contact the NSU Foundation at 605-626-2550.


Wolves Memorial Suites Ribbon Cutting - 1:30 p.m., Wolves Memorial Suites

Open to the public.


Wolves Soccer (vs. Augustana) – 3:30 p.m., Jerde Field


Hall of Fame Banquet -  5 p.m., Dakota Event Center

The Hall of Fame Banquet is held annually to honor NSU athletes who made significant contributions to athletics while attending NSU and in their careers.  Guests and friends may make reservations at the NSU Foundation Office at 605-626-2550.


Fine Arts Alumni Reunion – 5 p.m., JFAC

Please join us during Gypsy Days for an NSU Fine Arts Reunion! Enjoy the company of fellow Fine Arts alumni, tour the newly-renovated Johnson Fine Art Center and fine arts spaces and meet School of Fine Arts Dean Dr. Kenneth Boulton. Complimentary hors d'oeuvres and drink will be provided.  Please RSVP to the NSU Foundation at 605-626-2550 by Sept. 25.


Wolves Volleyball (vs. Minnesota State, white-out theme) – 6 p.m., Barnett Center


Swimming Reunion – 7 p.m., Dakota Event Center

Swimming alumni and friends are invited to share 11 years of history and memories of the NSU Swimming Program. Guests may make reservations at the NSU Foundation Office at 605-626-2550.


Paint Dance  – 9 p.m.-midnight, Jerde Music Room

NSU students can enjoy a DJ dance while being sprayed with paint! Open to NSU students. Sponsored by Campus Activities Board and Awarewolves.


Sept. 30 Gypsy Day

President’s Breakfast - 7:15 a.m., Barnett Center

NSU Hall of Fame inductees, dignitaries, and special guests share an invitation-only breakfast with NSU President Dr. Tim Downs and his wife, Mary Downs, before the Gypsy Day parade.


Steps for Shep 5K road race/1 mile walk – 8 a.m., Barnett Center

Get details and register HERE


Gypsy Day Parade - 9 a.m., Aberdeen Main Street

Come enjoy South Dakota's largest parade!


Alumni Tailgating - Noon, Clark Swisher Activities Complex

 The NSU Alumni Association is hosting an alumni and friends tailgate sponsored by Jimmy John's and RDO Equipment. Alumni, friends, and NSU supporters are welcome to gather at the Ken’s SuperFair Food tailgate tent at the south end of Swisher Field for pre-game food and fun before the football game.  


Wolves Football (vs. Minnesota State-Moorhead) - 2:30 p.m., Clark Swisher Activities Complex

Hall of Fame Introductions  will be made during half-time.


Alumni Band with NSU Band - 2:30 p.m., Clark Swisher Activities Complex stands

NSU alumni who would like to play the NSU Fight Song and pep tunes alongside the NSU Band may gather in the stands at Swisher Field to support the Wolves! For details, contact Dr. Terry Beckler at 605-626-3436 or


Wolves Volleyball (vs. Concordia-St. Paul) - 6 p.m., Barnett Center


Oct. 1

Wolves Soccer (vs. Wayne State) – 1 p.m., Jerde Field

Gypsy Day Parade Float Registration

Online registration for the 102nd annual Northern State University Gypsy Day Parade is open.

Registration will include a $25 participation fee. The parade is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017, with a start time of 9 a.m.


Parade lineup is based on the order in which online registrations are received. The deadline to enter online is 5 p.m. Sept. 15, 2017. Only individuals or groups that meet the online deadline will receive a block and space assignment. Confirmation letters will be emailed with lineup information approximately one week before the parade.


For more information about the parade and registration process, contact Sarah Botkin, director of student involvement and leadership, at 605-626-3007 or


float Registration

Gypsy Day Parade Band Registration

Gypsy Day Parade band registration is open and will close at 5 p.m. Sept. 29, 2017.


Band Registration

Gypsy Days 2016
Gypsy Days Past
2016 Parade Awards

Gypsy Award (Best Vehicle Entry) - Aberdeen Exchange BMX

Thunders Award (Best Animal Entry) - Happy Tails Equine & K9 Sport Massage

Northern Spirit Award (Best Group Participation) - NSU International Student Club

Northern Pride Award (Best Representation of Theme) - SkateAway

Mayors Award (Best Aberdeen Community Entry) - Boys and Girls Club of Aberdeen Area

Chamber Award (Best Aberdeen Area Business Entry) - iHELP-RSLFC

Presidents Award (Best Northern State Entry) - Native American Student Association

Best Overall Float - Dial-A-Move

Past parade marshals: 2016: Rod and Glenna Fouberg, staunch NSU supporters; 2014: Ann Eisenbeisz, 50-year NSU employee; 2013: Lester Clarke, former NSU interim president, vice president, dean and professor; 2012: Bob Olson, retired Northern State University athletic director; 2011: Dr. Jack Warner, executive director of the S.D. Board of Regents; 2010: Mary Cundy, Joanna Goetz, and Deanna Mauck, founding master teachers for the NSU Center for Statewide E-learning; 2009: Dr. James Smith, NSU president, and Dr. Connie Ruhl-Smith; 2008: Mike Levsen, Aberdeen mayor and NSU alumnus

2016 Gypsy Days Royalty




2016 Gypsy Days Royalty Court, from left: Cheng Peng, Brandon Vockrodt, Carrie Wegleitner, Donavan Soulek, Samie Elbert, Corey Klatt, Paige Tooker, Meo Bartolomeo, Harrison Homelvig, DaVonte Robertson


2016 Gypsy Day Marshal Harrison Homelvig (left) and Queen Davonte Robertson

Distinguished Alumni


2016 Gypsy Days Distinguished Alumni and Hall of Fame


Alumni Award Nomination Forms

Distinguished Alumni Award

Distinguished Alumni GOLD Award

Athletics Hall of Fame Award

Distinguished Alumni & Hall of Fame Archive