“Michigan State was doing well in the NCAA basketball tournament back in 1979. One day, [Sportscaster] Tim Stoudt and I were on a street corner in downtown Lansing talking. ‘What could we do if they went to the Final Four?’” Duane Vernon recalls. The optimistic men approached coach Jud Heathcote, and he agreed to a parade if the team made the Final Four, so they got to work planning the march. Two days after the Spartans won it all against Larry Bird and the Indiana State Sycamores, the team was joined by students, family, friends and fans in a celebratory strut from East Lansing to the Capitol, where the State Legislature recognized the team.
Source : Laurence Consentino, ” The Long March : Lansing’s Sesquicentennial Parade forms Up with its Forerunners”, Lansing City Pulse, May 13-10, 2009.