Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Parade Kicks Off Homecoming Weekend Festivities

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UNCP’s Divine Dancer’s perform at the Homecoming Parade. PN Photo/Anayah Peterson

By: Anayah Peterson, Reporter

The homecoming parade marked the start of events for the day. Participants embraced the Spirit Day theme, with students, alumni and the local community attired in black and gold.

The parade began at Pembroke Elementary and the route followed Third Street to the corner d North Odum Street and onto Old Main Road. The celebrants passed by Old Main and Mary Livermore Library until turning north on Faculty Row. The parade ended its route at Grace P. Johnson Stadium.

Following the parade, the bonfire event took place at Lot 14 in the Tailgate Zone. Students and the community watched the event from various locations: Mary Livermore Library, Belk Hall, Starbucks and more. Lumbee Tribal Chairperson candidates were participating in the parade and other local businesses in the area.

“I like it a lot. I like how there were floats from the community,” Jacob Alvarez, a senior said.

Alvarez appreciated that both UNCP and local high school participated in the parade together. He went to a previous UNCP homecoming parade in Fall 2019. He watched the parade with a few friends this year.

Student organizations and the 2021 homecoming court rode on floats. Also, the Miss Lumbee Ambassadors participated in the parade in different vehicles. The Community and Civic Engagement, UNCP Athletes, and the UNCP’s Divine Dancers participated in the parade.

UNCP’s Spirit of the Carolinas played live at the event while marching along with the Spirit Squad. Purnell Swett High School’s cheerleading team, Purnell Sweet Cheer, was in the parade along with their school marching band, cheerleaders and JROTC. The high school’s homecoming court was in the parade.

Some parade floats gave out candy to the crowd that was watching them while others handed out fliers. Others gave out foam balls.

“My favorite part of the parade was the marching band. I liked listening to the music,” Whitney Peck, a sophomore said. The parade was Peck’s first one to watch at UNCP due to COVID-19 last year.

De’Maurion Shelley, a freshman, watched the parade to participate in homecoming activities with friends.

“I loved all of it. I like the turnout from both the participants in the parade and the people watching it,” Shelley said.

The runner-up of the 2021 homecoming parade is Spirit of the Carolinas. The winner of the overall parade is UNC Pembroke Athletics.

The event allowed the community to celebrate homecoming together before the bonfire and game that weekend.

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