Francis Marion University will hold its first Patriot Pride Homecoming Parade since the 1990s on Saturday, Feb. 18 from 11 p.m. to 12 p.m. as part of this year’s Homecoming activities.
The parade route starts at the Housing Office and goes to the University Center where there will be other Homecoming events sponsored by the University Programming Board (UPB).
All organizations are asked to be involved by decorating their golf cart. Each decorated golf cart will compete in a contest. If students do not choose to drive a golf cart, they can walk in the parade with creative banners.
Student Government Association (SGA) is sponsoring and organizing the homecoming parade this year. Student Body President Cody Simpson explained why the homecoming parade is important.
“It was a tradition for years and years, and the students want the tradition back,” Simpson said.“We want an event that will bring everyone together for the betterment of our community here at FMU.”
The organizations and their golf carts are competing to be named Most Patriotic, Most Creative and Overall Best. SGA will award prizes to the organizations that have the best decorated golf carts.
The carts awarded the Most Patriotic and the Most Creative will receive gifts and certificates. The Overall Best becomes Grand Marshal for next year’s Homecoming Parade.
On-site coordinator Kerry Smithwill choose the judges.
“We are asking some community leaders to come and be the judges,” Smith said. “There will be three to five judges and we are taking judges from the community so that there will be no biased votes.”
ROTC will be among the 30 organizations involved in this year’s parade. They plan to bring patriotism into FMU by being in formation with the American Flag.
Simpson said that the SGA is excited about being involved in bringing back the homecoming parade.
“We are trying to build Patriot Pride on campus and we are trying to bring all of the student organizations together,” Simpson said. “It is SGA’s role to be the bridge between students, faculty, staff and the administration.”