School spirit was present in abundance at Friday’s Homecoming Parade and After Party.
Onlookers greeted the start of the parade with a shower of green and gold beads. The Beef Studs, painted in the school colors, raced ahead of the floats in the parade. The Herd of Thunder played school songs, inspiring a chant of “Go Bulls!”
The 11th annual Running with the Bulls Night Parade and After Party, starting on Holly Drive, snaked down Maple to end at Alumni drive, lining the roads and sidewalks with enthusiastic students.
The event closed out Homecoming festivities with live music and USF mascot Rocky the Bull parachuting from a helicopter.
If anyone expected the Bulls to fall to the Cincinnati Bearcats the next day, no one was showing it. Kayla Tomory noticed an increase in school spirit from previous years.
“The parade was much better than last year,” Tomory, a junior, said. “People were more energetic and excited to be out in the streets showing school spirit.”
As the parade wound to its close, students began making their way to Fowler Fields and the Parade After Party, featuring live music and free food and drinks.
“Students lined up to enjoy 425 green and gold Krispy Kreme doughnuts, Qdoba Mexican Grill, Coca-Cola and Cinnabon beverages and 960 hamburgers and 400 hotdogs provided by Checkers,” said Graduate Advisor Jenna Kelly, who was helping out at the event.
Partygoers looking for more than food and music, like sophomore Amanda Fleming, could bounce in a moonwalk, climb a rock wall and even try to drop into a dunk tank a few student celebrities – Homecoming King and Queen Victor Velasco and Holli Silverman, and Student Body President Garin Flowers.
“I just wanted to go out and do something exciting – not spend a lot of money, eat free food and show support for my school,” Fleming said.
After rock band Cartel’s performance, organizers lit a massive bonfire signifying the burning of the Cincinnati Bearcats. It took six hours to pile up the 1000 pallets of wood needed for the fire.
Students were then told that, before T-Pain would perform, Rocky the Bull must be in attendance. The crowd surveyed the sky, and then spotted a helicopter believed to contain Rocky. Ten minutes later he dropped in with a parachute and landed in a crowd of students.
Capping off a week’s worth of Homecoming celebrations, T-Pain took the stage and performed hit singles like “Bartender” and other popular songs including Kanye West’s “The Good Life” and Flo-rida’s “Low.”