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Cadets Show their Colors Among the Orange and Blue

posted Dec 7, 2011, 4:58 PM by William McCombie
On the morning November 4, 2011, the city of Gainesville, Florida prepared for a battle. Fighter jets roared overhead, major roads were closed off, schools closed, and tens of thousands of people packed the streets, many wearing orange and blue. Commodores were coming into town, but there were no battleships, for this “battle” was the homecoming Football game between the Florida Gators and the Vanderbilt Commodores.

The homecoming festivities begin with the annual University of Florida homecoming parade. Now in its 88th year, the homecoming parade includes floats and representatives from local organizations, student groups, and public figures. Among these were the mayor of Gainesville, the UF marching band, local high school and university ROTC units, and representatives from the Gainesville Regional Airport.

Despite light rain and clouds in the morning, by the time the parade began at noon, the sky had cleared and the sun was shining. 11 cadets from the Gainesville Composite Squadron represented Civil Air Patrol, with cadets Airman Noah Wright and Sr. Airman George Fuller carrying the squadron banner and representatives of the color guard team, consisting of cadets Hannah Eades, Stephanie Redmond, Hunter Wood, and Michael Redmond carrying the colors, followed by cadets Tiffany Jacowczuk, Caleb Eades, Ben Foster, Andrew Geelhoed, and Noah Parker, as they marched the two mile parade route along University Avenue from the Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on the University of Florida campus to Main Street downtown. 2nd Lt. Laura Eades followed behind in a CAP van. “We were honored to represent our Gainesville Composite Squadron” said Eades.

The day concluded with “Gator Growl”, a student-run pep rally featuring a performance by The Goo Goo Dolls and a stand-up routine by Joel McHale. The football game was held the following day, with the Gators winning 26-21.

Photo: Gainesville Cadets take a photo opportunity at the Ben Hill Griffin Stadium prior to the beginning of the parade.