The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

Floating down a new route

Nicole Robinson

It didn’t take long to fill up First Avenue Saturday, as spectators lined sidewalks six blocks down around 9:30 a.m., staring at the closed-off street before them.

Over at the Ann Street parking lot, however, numerous students decked in colorful attire standing by and on their floats prepared to give spectators an eyeful.

Junior Amanda Hill, a member of Women’s Concert Choral, said this parade was the first in which she participated.

“Driving here, the excitement was building,” she said. “An event like this really brings everyone together.”

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The parade began at 10 a.m., moving down First Avenue from Ann Street, turning right on to Water Street and finishing at Second Avenue.

The floats were a variety of themes, ranging from TV 10’s history-of-TV float to Delta Sigma Phi/Sigma Sigma Sigma’s “Back to the Future” float.

Alumnus John Eibe, class of ’92, said he comes to the parade nearly every year.

“I still live in the area,” he said. “I want to support my alum mater. I loved going to school here.”

Paula Stuettgen, coordinator of Student Development and Programming, said the parade turned out to be successful on First Avenue.

“We had as large a crowd as we’ve ever had,” she said. “We had plenty of room to put (people). It all worked out for everybody.”

But while the parade provided entertainment for some, others were not as impressed.

Junior Zach Jeffrey said the parade seemed to be missing something from years past.

“It wasn’t the same,” he said. “It’s a lot better on Water (Street). It was a lot more centralized. It wasn’t that long.”

The parade, which lasted about 25 minutes, didn’t have the same amount of units as before due to groups canceling and the early homecoming date, Stuettgen said.

Eibe, as he watched the parade pass by, said First Avenue wasn’t the right place to hold it.

“It belongs on Water Street,” he said. “That’s where all the kids are. I know there was a little problem last year, but they can get beyond that.”
Senior Grayson Gilbert, American Marketing Association president, said despite the route change, he and his group had a good time being part of the parade.

Stuettgen said the route, as of now, will remain the same next year.
“This is something that we do periodically,” she said. “We’ll look at changes in the future.”

Taking first place in the float competition was Delta Sigma Phi/Sigma Sigma Sigma with its float, which featured a replica of the Delorian after it crashed into a barn with smoke flowing from the car.

TV 10 won second place, and Organization for New Entrepreneurs took third.

For non-musical units, Bridgman Hall won first with its kazoo band unit.

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Floating down a new route