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Route moves for safety concerns

In addition to the usual green and gold, this year’s Homecoming Parade will be a display of red, white and blue.April Sager, the parade coordinator, said that everyone wants to get involved.”I’m sensing a lot of American pride themes,” Sager said. “Everyone wants to be a part, they just want something in there.”Sager said this year’s parade will feature 88 items, which is 11 more than last year. The parade will take place on Friday, starting at 6 p.m. Sager said she is pleased with the growth of the event.”I’m really happy to see the turnout we’ve had with the parade,” she said. “It’s been a lot of fun.”The biggest change for this year’s parade will be the route. The originally planned route had the parade being staged on Holly Drive and moving down Maple Drive. Sager said, due to the continuing construction on Maple Drive, the route had to be altered.

“We were just going to run it down one side of the construction,” Sager said. “We went out there and did a site evaluation. We just decided we had a few safety concerns with the construction for the floats and for the public.”

Sager said in addition to safety concerns, she felt that the construction took away from the event.

“If we’re bringing all these people out to our campus, why should we show them this construction?” she said.

The new route for the parade will start at Lee Roy Collins Boulevard and run through Alumni Drive, ending at Bull Run Drive. Sager said with other events happening on campus, including the close proximity of the carnival, the parade should be impressive.

“It’s a little shorter this year,” Sager said. “I anticipate (the parade route) to be packed, more packed than ever before.”

Sager said with the combination of a new route and increased number of floats, the parade has been difficult to plan.

“It’s a challenge,” she said. “It’s a lot more difficult than I thought.”

Even with the difficulties, Sager said she is excited about the event. She said more floats than last year will be giving out items to the crowd.

“Everyone wants to be a part of homecoming and that makes me happy,” Sager said. “I anticipate (the parade) to be one of our best.”