High-pitched cheers blended with the sounds of marching band brass and percussion at Friday night’s spirit march.
University members of sororities and fraternities waved balloons, signs and banners to show off their school spirit as they waited for the parade to start in front of Parker Hall.
The march was free and open to the public, and festivities began at 4:45 p.m. in front of Parker Hall, where the Miss Homecoming nominees lined up in front of their sororities.
Parker Concourse was lined with spirit booths and large posters, boasting Greek symbols and showing off sorority and fraternity campus pride.
Chants of “Bodda Getta” and other Auburn traditions began the night, along with some dancing and music in front of Parker.
Aubie then led the Spirit March to Toomer’s Corner, riding in style to his next location in a golf cart.
The nominees were escorted by bicycle in front of their supporting sororities, who marched together to Toomer’s Corner for a pre-game pep rally.
A pep band, cheerleaders and the Tiger Paws dance team were the featured entertainment at the pep rally.
Sorority sisters made signs and wore matching campaign T-shirts in support of their candidates.
“I was surprised there weren’t more people outside of fraternities,” said Mike Botts, 1976 Auburn alumni who had come to Parker to watch the festivities and look at the spirit booths.
Botts said this was his first Spirit March.
“My favorite booth would have to be the Alpha Chi Omega,” Botts said about a Star Wars-themed Spirit Booth featuring a papier-mâché Aubie exclaiming, “Furman, I am your Father.”
“Homecoming, I feel is a time to share Auburn traditions,” said Christian Becraft, senior in journalism who was elected the 2009 Miss Homecoming during halftime of the football game Saturday. “One main element of Auburn is football and our love for football, and I love how during Homecoming we can use that time to come together with our families and show them what Auburn means to us.”
Miss Homecoming voting was conducted through Auburn’s Web site from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday.
“Miss Homecoming is a girl that everyone looks up to as a role model for Auburn University,” said May May Cates, freshman in apparel merchandise who was out supporting Miss Homecoming nominee Grace Anthony. “War Damn!”
Cates said she didn’t know what to expect, but was ultimately pleased with the amount of students and community members that attended and showed support at the Spirit March.
“The turnout was great!” Becraft said. “I see the spirit march definitely turning into another tradition at Auburn, and I see it eventually becoming something that families visiting for Homecoming look forward to and think it will grow each year.”
Becraft said she was interested to see how Auburn was planning to support the Spirit March in the years to come.
“When I come back to visit Auburn and visit my children, who I hope go to school here, I hope that I can go and watch the Spirit March with my family,” Becraft said.