UNC Charlotte's second annual Homecoming Lights Parade garners school spirit
Photos by Chris Crews.
Friday afternoons on campus are usually an anomaly in a week of bustling students encountering traffic as they leave campus for the day, or as they head for class. However, last Friday was a different kind of anomaly. Children of alumni mirrored students and others alike as they wore bright green, blinking New Year’s Eve-like glasses while play fighting with foam batons. Trees in the courtyard across from the Student Union were adorned with crystal clear and niner green miniature lights as the sun began to set over UNC Charlotte.
Students and alumni gathered along on the edges of Craver Road on Oct. 24 for UNC Charlotte’s second annual Homecoming Lights Parade.
The parade, which was sponsored by The Flats, consisted of nearly 30 entries from student organizations, Greek houses, alumni and local businesses.
“The whole point of it (the parade) is to get people pumped for homecoming,” said UNC Charlotte sophomore Ryon George. “I thought it was a good idea generated by the school…there should be more things like this.”
Floats and vehicles made their way from the eastern edge of campus on Van Landingham Road past East Deck, Fretwell and McEinry before reaching Craver Road.
The Flats was the first float to come down Craver Road and threw out t-shirts to various onlookers in the crowd as they made their way past the Student Union. Student Body President, Steven Serio followed The Flats float on the back of a dark convertible and preceded a dancing Norm the Niner.
First-time parade goer and Mu Sigma Upsilon sorority member, Sheram Serrano, was one of many participants in the parade. “I guess I was nervous, I didn’t know if we had enough lights or we had enough people,” said Serrano. “But once I got there and heard the music, there was some good oldies music, I had a lot of fun.”
A variety of dance groups from around Charlotte such as Rhythm in Effect, Dance Fever Charlotte and UNC Charlotte’s Tantrum Hip Hop performed during the parade along to music provided by DJ’s on the steps of the Union.
Although UNC Charlotte student Regina Johnson enjoyed the parade, she wanted to see more participation in the parade. “I would love to see all of us in the parade in some shape, form or fashion represented somehow,” said Johnson. “We have an awesome wonderful diverse campus and I just love that about us. I really think that should have been more represented. Even with the non-traditional student organization of which I’m apart, I don’t know if someone reached out to us and we just declined or we weren’t really declined to participate on some level. I think more organizations need to be represented.”
One of the parade’s most exciting moments came when UNC Charlotte’s football team appeared at the conclusion of the parade, prior to their matchup with James Madison University.
“Football is connected to the parade,” said UNC Charlotte student Henry Danois. “Most of the people are out here to get hyped for it.”
The Lights Parade was followed by a Pep Rally and the homecoming edition of CAB’s Union Takeover.