Brooklynn Wilkes, Arts & Entertainment Correspondent
Despite a heavy downpour throughout the day, Jacksonville State University continued homecoming festivities to the best of its abilities.
The day started with the homecoming parade, showcasing multiple university clubs and organizations, as well as the homecoming court. Homecoming served as a great time to welcome back alumni as well.
It was quite literally raining on this parade, but that did not hold back the crowds from flocking to AL Highway 21/Pelham Road to join in the celebration.
Johnny L. Smith, the mayor of Jacksonville, was in attendance and took part in the parade itself. 1995’s Miss America also took a stroll down AL Highway 21 and became an honorary Marching Ballerina at the homecoming game later that day, an honor she always wished to obtain.
If you were not too busy trying to catch the candy thrown from floats and vehicles, you saw the Alumnus of the year, Dr. Eric Mackey; Young Alumni of the year, Brett Johnson; Military Alumnus of the year, Col. Samuel Fiol; Outstanding Faculty of the year, Dr. Gina Mabrey; and the Alumni Chapter of the year, Student Alumni Association.
SGA President Ulises Herrera was also in attendance along with his vice president, Jerod Sharp. They were followed by some of the JSU Greek organizations, Freshman Forum, Go! Leaders and JSU Ambassadors.
Mister And Miss Friendly made an appearance, along with Miss Jax State, the Mardi Gras Queen and Miss JSU, Darby Angle. The international students, who hosted a tailgate later in the day, also represented themselves in the parade. Homecoming King Harrison Cheatwood and Homecoming Queen, Abbie Beatty, were glowing in their newly earned crowns.
The Marching Southerners stormed Pelham Road, because what is a parade without a jaw dropping band. Not even a little rain could keep the Southerners away, they put on ponchos and marched on without skipping a beat.
The international students hosted a tailgate on Dillon Field for homecoming and the attendance was somewhat sparse considering the rain picked up during this time, but they still rocked on with a band and an abundance of food. They provided hotdogs and a good time, but if you were not in the mood for a meal, they provided small snacks and shelter from the rain.
The rain ended up cutting the tailgate short, but the time spent there was well worth it. With stomachs full and spirits slightly heightened, those who attended the short tailgate were able to make their way to the game swiftly to continue homecoming festivities.