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Tuesday, August 09, 2022

A white picket fence surrounded a quaint house as balloons tugged at its roof. The cardboard house in the “Up”-themed float wheeled down the street Friday at the annual Homecoming Parade.

Morgan Pinkerton, 19,  who dressed as Ellie from the Disney movie, waved as she walked alongside the UF Keys Governing Body float.

“We went with ‘Up’ because ‘the sky’s the limit’ is where we were going with the limitless theme,” said Pinkerton, a UF biology sophomore. “Disney is pretty universal, and it’s really easy to bring all kinds of generations into that.”

People of all ages lined West University Avenue to watch the parade and show off their Gator spirit.

“It’s a lot of fun,” said Makinsy Fitzgerald, a 17-year-old senior at Oak Hall School. “You have a lot of variety.”

At the head of the parade was UF President Bernie Machen, followed by UF mascots Albert and Alberta. A variety of student clubs, high school bands, local businesses and Gainesville organizations followed.

Veterans sped down the street in go-karts, while unicyclists rode close to the crowd to high-five onlookers, and gymnastics teams did backflips down the street.

“Everyone’s so excited, everyone’s active, everyone’s putting their all into it,” said Milan Raiford, a 19-year-old UF psychology and women’s studies sophomore.

During the parade, floats embraced this year’s homecoming theme, “Limitless,” with images of the sky and outer space.

Pinkerton said the event is a great opportunity for the community to work together to show its spirit.

“Gainesville as a whole just transforms.”

[A version of this story ran on page 4 on 10/20/2014]

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