Campus Life

Parade fills streets with purple, gray

A flow of purple and gray swept through the streets as students, alumni and Conway citizens gathered on Saturday to celebrate UCA’s Homecoming.
Homecoming doesn’t just consist of the football game. Students who attend can’t forget the tailgating fun, with its aroma of food wafting under their noses and of course the awaited parade.
The parade participants gathered at the parking lots near Bill Stephens Track and Soccer Complex and at 2 p.m. the train of cheerleaders, floats, the homecoming court and horses trailed down Donaghey Ave. and Bruce St., being led and escorted at the beginning of the procession by two police vehicles.
The band seemed to be first heard then seen. With its amazing assortment of instruments, the band led the crowd in putting its hands together for the Bears cheer and fight song.
This was freshman Jennie Uyeda’s first UCA Homecoming to march with the band.
“I did enjoy it. At first I thought it would be hard to march and play at the same time, but after doing it I learned it was really easy for me,” Uyeda said.
She said she feels the UCA marching band is the powerhouse for homecoming.
“We’re the core source for entertainment at the homecoming parade. We provide the music and help pump up the fans,” she said.
She said the band doesn’t have to do much to prepare for the parade.
“The music we play for the parade is pregame and the fight song, which we we’re all required to memorize at the beginning of the year,” she said.
She said for the parade the band just puts everything together and goes.
“Parades don’t require us to set drill and create images on a field, so it is much easier and more focused on just having fun,” Uyeda said.
She said if she could, she wouldn’t change anything about the parade.
The Bears mascot and the UCA cheerleaders, being pulled in a Mastercraft boat, followed the marching band and continued to gather participation from the packed streets with cheers and shouting alike.
The homecoming court trailed behind. Each maid sitting on their cars waved to the crowd with pride and eagerness.
Sophomore Brad Goodnight was at the parade.
“The queens were beautiful,” he said.
Children were all too excited to run out and grab the candy that was being thrown for them into the streets.
Several fraternities and sororities were represented on the floats in the parade including Delta Zeta and Alpha Sigma Tau.
“I thought the floats had a lot put into them,” Goodnight said.
Senior Alexis Weaver said this homecoming was the first for UCA’s Equestrian Club to ride in.
“It was an quite honor to be allowed to be in it,” Weaver said.
Weaver said she thought the parade went great.
“We didn’t have any problems and the crowd seemed to love seeing the horses. I don’t think they were very thrilled of the candy being thrown everywhere, but luckily they didn’t spook,” she said.
She said she wasn’t sure how the parade was going to work out at first.
“We got to the barn and a lot of the horses were high strung and excited. A couple of the horses that were rode had also never been in a parade setting before,” she said, “however, all of the horses did great along with their riders, and I believe we all had an amazing experience and a really fun time.”
She said she thought it all went great, but if she could change one thing it would be the length.
“So much goes into getting ready for the parade, and homecoming is quite a big deal. Making the parade a little longer could not only attract more of a crowd, but could also give students that worked hard on the floats more time to actually be a part of it and enjoy it,” she said.
The parade ended on Bruce St. at Alumni Buffalo Hall.

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