Students show school spirit during Homecoming Parade

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Photo by: Xavier Branham

Members of the American Chemical Society demonstrate their Patriot pride during the Homecoming Parade.

Nicole Guest, Staff Writer

The first Francis Marion University Homecoming Parade since the 1990s made its way around campus on Saturday, Feb. 18 from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.

The parade of 30 golf carts started in front of the Housing Office and ended by the University Center (UC).

Each was decorated to represent a campus organization and.  Miss FMU Cari Ellen Hicks was the Grand Marshall, and her golf cart kicked off the parade.  The cheerleaders started school spirit with a cheer in formation.

Student Body President Cody Simpson introduced the idea to host this event. Simpson became the chairman of the 2012 Patriot Pride Homecoming Parade Committee and met with two students from each participating organization to plan the event.

Simpson said that during his time in Francis Marion, he has listened to the students, and this event was important to them.

“This was a tradition that needed to be brought back,”  Simpson said.

Registration Coordinator Quanisha Nesmith directed the parade.  Nesmith said that it took three to four weeks to plan this event.

“I guess my favorite part was everyone’s creativity and school spirit,” Nesmith said.

The bystanders of the parade smiled, clapped and waved as the golf carts drove by. Along with them, Cristeena Redding of the Student Alumni Association  (SAA) enjoyed the event.

“My favorite part was walking down with SAA,” Redding said.

Three judges evaluated the golf carts to determine the best overall winner of the parade.  Onsite Coordinator Kerry Smith came up with the judging criteria and the order of the golf carts.  He was proud of the event.

“It feels great.  I thought we had a great turnout,” Smith said.  “Campus Police was a great help.”

Simpson also extended his thanks.

“On behalf of the 2012 Patriot Pride Homecoming Committee, we want to thank Dean Brand for all of her assistance and continued support,” Simpson said.

After the parade, a group picture was taken of all of the organizations.  While the judges made their decisions, there was free food and drinks, face painting, and music in UC for everyone that attended.

The SAA golf cart won Most Patriotic, and Most Creative went to FMU Intramurals.

The American Chemical Society won Best Overall Golf Gart and will be the Grand Marshall in next year’s parade.