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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Local celebs star in parade

Several UF notables will join sports teams and Florida politicians in today's Homecoming parade that starts at noon.

The honored guests include U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, state Sen. Steve Oelrich, several state representatives and two Alachua County commissioners, wrote Max Weiss, UF Homecoming parade director, in an e-mail.

UF President Bernie Machen, all of UF's trustees, Gainesville Mayor Pegeen Hanrahan and Student Body President Ryan Moseley are also among the university's VIPs.

Other UF groups, such as sororities and fraternities, will participate as well, said Elizabeth Davlantes, UF Homecoming chairwoman.

Any group that creates a float for the parade must stick to the Homecoming theme of "Nation of Champions," Davlantes said.

"It's a great way to unite the whole city in Gator spirit," she said.

The parade starts at University Avenue and Gale Lemerand Drive and ends at Main Street.

"I've been told I'm not a good waver," Moseley said. "I've got to start practicing."

This is his second time participating in the parade.

This year, he said, he's excited to meet Lynyrd Skynyrd.

"Free Bird," he said, summing up why he's a big fan.

Moseley said he's got a lot to do before the big event, including picking out an outfit.

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"It'll probably be something orange and blue," he said.

Davlantes said parade participants would not be allowed to throw beads or any other objects to the crowd because of Gainesville rules.

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