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In a time of such uncertainty, it is essential now more than ever, for us to come together. The Gator Nation is strong and resilient, and together we will show the world what it means to be a Gator. With this in mind, we are continuing the almost 100-year tradition by inviting all Gators to celebrate Homecoming from home.

The theme for UF Homecoming this year is “The Gator Still Growls.” This phrase embodies our organization’s perseverance and overwhelming spirit and the University of Florida as we intend to celebrate homecoming this fall.

Starting Oct. 2, the Homecoming celebration will last three weeks and center around positivity and connectedness. Homecoming events will take different forms based on the current health climate and capture the core values that make each event unique. Our plans are listed in detail below:

The Gator Gallop presented by Truist will be held as a virtual race and kick-off Homecoming, where anyone can participate regardless of location. Participants pick the distance and course they want to complete and have two weeks to complete it. Participants will receive a limited-edition Gator Gallop T-shirt, an engraved race medal and a printable race number with the registration fee. Registration will be open until Oct. 16.

The Leadership Pageant features students who have positively impacted their campus and community and are career and leadership-oriented. We had 30 contestants this year representing different corners of campus. This year is the 20th anniversary of Soulfest, and we’re excited to share this milestone virtually. Both events will virtually premiere on Oct. 12 and Oct. 18, respectively, and were performed and filmed at the Phillips Center following the university’s social distance guidelines.

The Homecoming Parade will not be a traditional parade this year as it will not have a designated route. To continue the tradition, Homecoming will execute a “Stay at Home Parade” by encouraging campus entities and local businesses to decorate their properties to show Gator spirit.

In place of an in-person show during UF’s 2020 Homecoming Celebration, we will be producing a video called “The Gator Still Growls” shared online on Oct. 23, focused on the rich traditions that have made us the Gator Nation. Highlights of the video montage will showcase some of the most memorable moments from previous Gator Growl shows.

For more information, visit www.gatorgrowl.org or follow UF Homecoming & Gator Growl on social media (@HCGatorGrowl).

As always, let the Gator Growl.

Logan Piper serves as the General Chair of Homecoming & Gator Growl.