Annual parade kicks off UConn’s Homecoming week

In this photo, UConn cheerleaders march down Hillside Road during the Homecoming Parade on Sunday, Oct. 11, 2015. (Jason Jiang/The Daily Campus)

The University of Connecticut’s annual Homecoming Parade, featuring student-designed floats from numerous campus organizations, kicked off Homecoming Week Sunday afternoon.

The parade began on Glenbrook Road, before moving down Hillside Road and Gilbert Road and ending at South Campus. It was Grand Marshalled by Dining Services, which the Student Union Board of Governors (SUBOG) chose to recognize for their contributions to campus life and their hard work providing the UConn community with the best possible product.

The theme of this year’s parade was “Movies! It’s Going Down for Reel,” and UConn’s student organizations did not disappoint.

“There was a lot of high energy. It was good to see family and alumni walking around campus, checking out the parade,” said Tiffany Wang, a 5th semester accounting major.

“It’s good to see a positive reflection of the UConn community,” Gwen Peyton, a 5th semester economics major, said.

Following the UConn Marching Band, cheerleaders and dance team, the first float of the parade was Tau Kappa Epsilon and Pi Beta Phi’s. As their “Rocky”-themed vehicle drove down Gilbert Road, they blasted “Gonna Fly Now”—better known as the Rocky theme song—and carried signs boasting numerous “Rocky” references, such as “Italian Stallion.”

Another crowd pleaser was a performance by the African American Cultural Center. Though they didn’t have a float, they captured observers’ attention as they spiritedly cheered, “We rep the AACC,” and danced down the street.

Zeta Beta Tau, Delta Gamma, Phi Sigma Rho and Sigma Alpha Mu showed off an impressive “Indiana Jones”-themed float, complete with a cut-out giant boulder and fake Indiana Jones dressed in a leather jacket and fedora.

In this photo, members of the Pi Beta Phi sorority march during UConn's Homecoming Parade on Sunday, Oct. 11, 2015. (Jason Jiang/The Daily Campus)

In this photo, members of the Pi Beta Phi sorority march during UConn's Homecoming Parade on Sunday, Oct. 11, 2015. (Jason Jiang/The Daily Campus)

Gamma Phi Beta, the UConn Kickline Team, Alpha Kappa Lambda and Beta Theta Pi’s “Star Wars” float featured an impressive array of beloved characters, including Yoda, Princess Leia, Chewbacca, Darth Vader and Han Solo.

However, it was Alpha Delta Phi and Kappa Alpha Theta who stole the show with their “Men in Black” float, drawing laughs from the crowd with their pug t-shirts—a reference to the famous character Frank the Pug, an extraterrestrial disguised as a dog, from the movie.

When asked what their favorite float was, Wang and Peyton both chose “Men in Black” by Alpha Delta Phi and Kappa Alpha Theta.

Not everyone felt that way, though. Alicia Gorski, a third semester chemical engineering major, said her favorite was, “TKE’s float – the Rocky-themed one.”

The Homecoming parade was followed by SUBOG’s free Homecoming Carnival in the South Residence Hall Quad. The winning float will be announced on Monday, Oct. 12 at the Lip Sync competition at 7 p.m. in Gampel Pavilion.

Caroline Green, an alum of the UConn class of 2015, came back to her alma mater just to watch the parade and admire the various floats.

“I really enjoyed the spirit, and I’m a huge movie buff, so I really enjoyed the theme and the creativity that accompanied that,” Green said.


Helen Stec is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at helen.stec@uconn.edu.