Gallop, parade, Growl celebrate Homecoming

Published: November 4th, 2013

Category: Spotlights


When Carolyn Stroupe was chosen as University of Florida Homecoming queen, it was a simple ceremony. She remembers being crowned by UF president J. Wayne Reitz.

Stroupe, now Carolyn Stambaugh, was named  UF’s first Homecoming queen in 1953. She will return to Gainesville on Homecoming  weekend to crown this year’s queen and king in front of thousands at Gator Growl, billed as the largest student-run pep rally in the nation.

Stambaugh said she’s excited to come back to the university 60 years later.

“I thought, ‘I can still walk and talk, maybe they would like for me to crown the queen,’” she said. “It should be a fun time, and I’m looking forward to it.”

The theme of Gator Growl 2013 is “Footprints of the Swamp.”  Friday’s event will feature performances from rock band The Fray, alternative band Sister Hazel and a cappella group New Directions Veterans Choir. The Gator Marching Band, UF athletes and student performers will also entertain.

For complete information and schedules for Homecoming and Gator Growl, visit

Several other events are planned along with Gator Growl.

The SunTrust Gator Gallop, a 2-mile fun run, starts at 11:30 a.m. Friday at the Percy Beard Track, continues along University Avenue and ends between SW Second Avenue and 13th street. Following the Gallop, thousands will gather on University Avenue at noon Friday for the annual Homecoming parade. Public television station Florida’s 5, WUFT-TV will present exclusive live television coverage of the parade beginning at noon. The parade can also be seen via streaming video at

On Saturday, a Homecoming barbecue will take place at Emerson Alumni Hall 2 ½ hours before kickoff. The weekend ends with the Homecoming football game  against Vanderbilt.

Tickets for Gator Growl 2013 are $17 for students and $27 for nonstudents. They can be purchased by visiting

Written by: Ayana Stewart

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