Central Spirit Hosts First Friday Parade

This Friday, September 6th will be the twenty-eighth annual First Friday parade celebrating the first home football game. In honor of this tradition, Central Spirit has created T-shirts courtesy of Tiger Town Graphics with the theme "Out of the Mountains and into Death Valley."

T-shirts are on sale for $10 at Tiger Town Graphics in downtown Clemson as well as online at www.tigertowngraphics.com. Central Spirit representatives will be selling t-shirts at the University Union Monday and Tuesday and at the Hendrix Student Center Wednesday through Friday, as well.

The First Friday parade, which runs from the HWY 93/HWY 76 intersection to the Amphitheater, is led each year by the university Color Guard, followed by Central Spirit, the Grand Marshall and the winner of the Ms. First Friday contest. This year's Grand Marshall is Coach Jack Leggett. The Grand Marshall and Ms. First Friday ride in vehicles provided by a local dealer for use in the parade. Any other clubs or groups from the university or around the Clemson area are welcome to take part in this family-oriented event, which brings out several thousand people each year. On-campus sororities build floats for the parade as well as present candidates for Ms. First Friday, which is voted on around campus throughout the week. Over 40 different clubs participated in 2001.

The First Friday Parade, established by Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity at Clemson University, was originally conceived back in 1973 as a way for sororities, fraternities, clubs and dorm halls to all get together and show their love and excitement for Clemson football. This unique kickoff of the new season has grown in size every year and has become a tradition on the Clemson campus. The first parade was held in 1974.

Central Spirit now organizes, sponsors and oversees the event which has become a staple of Clemson athletics. This year's First Friday celebration, however, will be taking a slightly different approach than ever before. UPAC, Hot 98.1, Tiger Paw Productions, and Central Spirit are hosting a series of concerts to kick-off the historical celebration. Starting Thursday, September 5th, hip-hop artist and rapper Ludacris will be in concert at Rugby Field. Tickets are available for $12 (all enrolled students) and $20 at the University Union box office before the day of the concert or may be purchased at the gate for $15 (students) and $25. Gates open at 6:00pm.

The First Friday parade is funded by Central Spirit T-shirt sales throughout the week. Any questions or comments about First Friday should be directed to Central Spirit special events director Jessie Parker (jessiep@clemson.edu).

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