Homecoming festivities kick off Friday morning
Published: Wednesday, November 7, 2012 at 5:33 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, November 7, 2012 at 5:33 p.m.
Homecoming Weekend 2012 will be staged under the theme "United We Growl" starting Friday with Gator Gallop at 11:30 a.m., followed by the annual homecoming parade at noon.
Gator Gallop, a 2-mile walk/run that starts at UF's Percy Beard Track, typically attracts about 1,500 participants. Registration on the day of the event starts at 9:15 a.m. and costs $20 cash only.
UF's 89th Annual Homecoming Parade, which runs east down University Avenue from the O'Connell Center to Main Street, typically draws more than 100,000 spectators for what is one of the nation's largest homecoming parades.
Gator Growl 2012 at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium Friday night features country singer Josh Turner and comedian Tracy Morgan. The event, starting at 7 p.m., will be hosted by ex-Gator and Olympic gold medalist Dara Torres. What started in 1932 as a bonfire and pep rally the Friday night before the homecoming football game has grown into one of UF's most beloved and renowned traditions. Known as the largest student-run pep rally, Growl features student skits, the Gator band, a farewell to the football team's seniors, and a fireworks display.
On Saturday, starting at 10 a.m. is the Homecoming Alumni BBQ at the O' Connell Center. Entrance to the event is free, but a meal ticket for barbecue is $10.
Culminating the weekend, Florida faces University of Louisiana-Lafayette at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium at 12:21 p.m.