Clemson to host 42nd First Friday Parade

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CLEMSON – The Clemson Family will gather at 6 p.m. Friday for the annual First Friday Parade, a 42-year tradition before the first home football game.

Since 1974, Clemson University student organizations have marched in a parade the day before the first home football game. This year, more than 75 organizations will participate.

Among them are 14 Panhellenic and service sororities that decided to decorate banners this year rather than build floats. The money saved will be donated to the Samuel J. Cadden Chapel on campus. There will be a competition to determine who has the best banner.

The banners will reflect this year’s parade theme: “The Clemson Family: Together As One.”

Head baseball coach Monte Lee is the parade’s grand marshal. President James P. Clements also will ride in the parade with and his wife, Beth, and daughter, Grace.

The parade route begins at Newman Road and follows Highway 93 to the lower intramural fields at Williamson Road. At 4 p.m., Newman Road will be barricaded for parade lineup, which begins at 4:30 p.m. From 4 to 8 p.m., the Clemson Area Transit red route will be routed to avoid this section of S.C. 93.

The parade will be followed by a pep rally at Riggs Field during halftime of the men’s soccer game against the University of North Carolina. The winners of the banner competition will be announced at the rally, as will Miss First Friday 2016.

The Miss First Friday competition pits student organizations against each other to see which can raise the most money in the “penny wars.” Jars with the name of a contestant representing each group are located on the Library Bridge through Thursday. The contestant who raises the most money from donations on behalf of her organization’s philanthropic cause will be named Miss First Friday 2016.

The parade and pep rally are coordinated by Central Spirit.

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