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A spirit that is not afraid

Auburn University's 2023 Homecoming Parade delights hundreds of onlookers

<p>Auburn Cheer kicks off parade to plenty of fanfare on September 15th, 2023.</p>

Auburn Cheer kicks off parade to plenty of fanfare on September 15th, 2023.

An abundance of Auburn’s students, alumni, staff and fans gathered for the annual Homecoming Parade and festivities on Friday, Sept. 15, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. The parade consisted of a variety of performances and floats by various on-campus organizations and community members.

The crowd was decked in blue, orange and white, sporting Auburn shakers and anticipatory smiles. The event consisted of a procession by the Auburn Cheerleaders, Tiger Paws and Color Guard, followed by a signature Auburn University Marching Band (AUMB) performance. After the AUMB procession, each candidate for Miss Homecoming was escorted down the parade route in their own parade car, waving at attendees along the way.

A variety of on-campus leadership and student organizations were in attendance, such as the War Eagle Girls and Plainsmen, the Auburn Student Government Association, University Program Council, as well as many Greek life organizations. 

In addition to student organizations, there were a variety of staff and faculty involved in the Homecoming festivities, passing out flowers, fans and other fun prizes to attendees along the parade route. Aubie was also in attendance and could be seen riding atop an Auburn Fire Department fire truck through the procession.

Downtown streets along the parade route closed at 5:30 p.m., and the parade began at 6 p.m. at the intersection of Thach Avenue and College Street. The parade traveled east on Thach, north on Gay Street, west on Magnolia Avenue and south on College, returning back to Thach.

A variety of students within the Auburn community gathered in large numbers to cheer on their favorite homecoming candidates and support their fellow students. 

Ryleigh Carder, senior in public relations, came to support her friend and roommate Kate Preston. 

“It’s awesome seeing Miss Auburn because she’s my roommate, so I love seeing her and I have to video her. The memories, those are my favorite parts,” Carder said.

Many in attendance came in hope of creating a sense of morale and enthusiasm surrounding Saturday’s Homecoming Game against Samford. 

Jack Ferrell, sophomore in accounting, said that he was most excited about cheering on the Tigers in Jordan-Hare this Saturday. 

“It’s awesome seeing all of the fans right before the game, especially for a big game. Hopefully, [there will be] a big blowout tomorrow,” Ferrell said.

After the parade concluded, onlookers felt a sense of rising excitement for the upcoming game against Samford, with alumni and Auburn resident James Salter describing the festivities as “what Auburn is all about.”

As the parade concluded, the crowd made its way onto Samford Lawn, striping the entirety of the green lawn with blue, orange and white. The cheerleaders, Tiger Paws and AUMB continued the festivities with an array of cheers and songs. 

The pep rally program included speeches from the five Miss Homecoming candidates, each sharing their platforms and respective visions for Auburn’s future. 

The evening’s events concluded with a speech by Auburn alumni, former Mic-Man and mayor of Auburn Ron Anders. As he spoke about Auburn's football legacy and the promise of a remarkable "comeback season" ahead, his enthusiastic words sparked rowdy cheering within the crowd. 

“The Auburn spirit is back alive,” Anders said.

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