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In Photos: UF Holds Annual Homecoming Parade

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Stalim Rivero (left) and Elena Hernandez show their Gator pride at the homecoming parade Friday. (WUFT News/Renee Castro)

The streets near campus were crowded on Friday, Oct. 6, when hundreds of Gator fans arrived for the annual University of Florida Homecoming Parade. Each street corner was filled with lawn chairs and families who were eager to view the parade and show off their Gator pride.

The Altrusa float and accompanying volunteers participate in the parade down University Avenue Friday. (WUFT News/Renee Castro)

The parade began at noon, and the intricate floats danced their way through University Avenue for two hours. Cheerleaders, marching bands, pageant winners and dancers were among those that were featured, each getting the fans excited for the activities the school would host through the weekend. Some floats were piled high with the school’s colors, while others stayed low on the ground with decorations like handmade alligators.

The Eastside High School Band performs in the parade Friday. (WUFT News/ Renee Castro)

Parade-goers sported their orange and blue apparel and celebrated the home coming of UF alumni. University Avenue was filled with excited fans and street vendors who sold pizza, snow cones, Philly cheesesteaks and Gator gear.

Miss Gainesville Outstading Teen waves at Gator fans as she makes her way through the Homecoming parade Friday. (WUFT/ Renee Castro)

Ron Blake has been attending UF homecoming parades since 1965, when he began his education at the University of Florida.

“I have orange and blue blood all the way,” Blake said.

Gator fans crowd the streets near campus and University Avenue watching the parade Friday. (WUFT/ Renee Castro)

Blake, his wife and his children have all received degrees from the University and now his grandson plays football for UF, he said. In addition, he held seats for his grandchildren walking in the parade.

Santa waves from the top of the Bass Pro Shop float at the parade Friday. The float also advertised the Toys for Tots campaign. (WUFT News/Renee Castro)

“You do it for yourself and then you do it for your kids and then you do it for your grandkids,” Blake said.

The UF DCP float makes its way down University Avenue for the parade Friday. (WUFT/Renee Castro)

The excitement of bringing your loved ones to the event is special, said Faith Percival, UF health education and behaviors student.

Children interact with a Chinese dragon as it makes its way through the parade Friday. (WUFT News/ Renee Castro)

“It’s so awesome,” Percival said. “I’m the first in my family to go to college so bringing my mom here was kind of a proud moment for me.”

Gator fans shop at a tent sent up on University Avenue for Gator gear Friday following the parade. (WUFT News/ Renee Castro)

Near Percival stands a younger onlooker, face painted to look like a gator. The fan, Noah, 10, arrived at 10 a.m. to watch the parade with his brothers.

The family arrived early to make sure to secure good spots. The main attraction of the parade was the floats, Noah said.

“I just wanted to see what it would be like,” he added.

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