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UT Students Select Homecoming Parade Winners 

Students have selected winners for the Nov. 3 Homecoming Parade.

A heavy downpour at the end of the Nov. 3 University of Tennessee Homecoming Parade delayed the selection of best-float winners for a few weeks. But determined to put it up for a student vote, event organizers and the Cumberland Avenue Merchants Association have declared the winners and awarded about $3,000 in prizes.

The first-place float, as decided by students balloting at last Friday's Vol Night Long event, was crafted by Phi Mu and Delta Tau Delta.

The second-place finisher was the float made by Delta Gamma and Pi Kappa Alpha, and the third-place float was the handiwork of Chi Omega and Beta Upsilon Chi.

Four individuals who cast votes - either at Vol Night Long or at the Homecoming parade - were randomly selected and won dinner gift certificates. They were UT community members Tiuana Brown, Chazni Darden and Lawand Yaseen and parade observer Melissa Roberson, who earned her master's degree from UT and joined Knoxville Area Transit as a student intern during the 1982 World's Fair. She's now KAT's Chief Administrative Officer.

Cumberland Avenue Merchants Association (CAMA) members - delighted to welcome the UT parade back to Cumberland after a 30-year hiatus - ponied up prizes to be handed out at the end of UT's 101st Homecoming Parade.

CAMA assembled diverse prize packs – everything from dinners and hotel stays to “Risky Business” sunglasses, headphones, cell phone repairs and canvas artwork. Parade-watchers were asked to vote through social media for their favorite floats, which were parked on Cumberland for an hour after the parade to allow for closer inspection, comparison and balloting.

The best-laid plans, however, were washed away by a pelting rain that began just as the parade was wrapping up. Participants and observers scrambled for cover, so the voting was extremely light.

That's when UT's Center for Student Engagement came up with the idea of extending balloting to the Nov. 17 Vol Night Long, a substance-free gathering with free food, games and activities for hundreds of students. Photos of the floats were posted, and students were encouraged to vote. Voters were eligible to win prizes as well.

CAMA merchants said they were disappointed by the rainout of the Post-Parade Celebration, but they liked that a big vote determined the winners and the prize recipients.

"We were all a little sad about the rain-out of the post-parade festivities, but at least the weather was great for the parade itself," said Helen Morton, owner of University Liquors and CAMA treasurer. "Merchants, new and old, were very generous with the prizes. We wanted to get them to the hard-working float-making teams, and we were glad that a student vote determined the 'people's choice' winners.

"Still... The kids invested a lot of time making these beautiful floats, and it would have been fun to ooh and ahh over the floats up close afterward. Maybe next year!"

Posted by evreeland On 22 November, 2017 at 4:18 PM  

 
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