The University of Arizona will be having its annual Homecoming Parade Saturday, Oct. 27.
The parade starts on Cherry Avenue and First Street, and will continue down Cherry, circle Old Main on campus and then go out to Campbell Avenue. The parade is expected to start at 3:45 p.m. and could last from an hour to an hour and 45 minutes.
The university’s Color Guard, band and cheer squad will be in the parade, along with President Dr. Robert Robbins. The Boys and Girls Club of Tucson, Alpha Kappa Psi and the Royalty Court will also be among the many parade participants.
Denise Shorbe, project specialist for the Alumni Association, is organizing the Homecoming Parade along with the Bobcat Alumni Club.
“Our special group is the Walden Grove dance team. They performed in ‘America’s Got Talent,’ so they’ll be riding on a fire truck and performing at the tailgate,” said Shorbe. “This year we reached out to more community groups, so we have floats participating, such as fire trucks with the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization and a float with a community food bank.”
Shorbe said the focus of the Homecoming Parade last year was on student involvement.
“This year, it’s not as greatly participated with student groups,” Shorbe said. “I do have some but not as many as I thought I would, but I have a lot of alumni participating.”
Some alumni that are participating will include Homecoming Royalty from the 1970s.
Shorbe said organizing the parade takes significant effort.
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“We start in the summer with communication drafting,” Shorbe said. “Really, it starts as soon as we know the game date.”
The Bobcats deal with communication, getting the information out to various groups and organizations, and performing roles such as finding cars for people to ride in. Shorbe follows up on the Bobcats’ work and organizes the logistics of the parade.
“It takes a lot,” Shorbe said. “I learned very quickly of all the dynamics as far as UAPD, getting the barriers to close roads, even athletics being involved in terms of timing. So it takes the university community to really pull it off.”
Concerning the cost of the parade, Shorbe did not have a specific number.
“In the bigger picture, is it enormously expensive? I don’t think so, but a lot of that is because we make that up because of the groups’ entry fee,” Shorbe said.
Shorbe said there is no intention to make any profit from the parade.
“This event is important to alumni. This is to celebrate all the people that have come through [the school], students, staff, faculty,” Shorbe said. “It’s just an important time of year.”