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October 27, 2013

University parades with pride at homecoming

NORMAN — Parades bring out the little kid in most of us, and University of Oklahoma faculty and staff are not immune. Many of them drive fancy roadsters, convertibles or vintage classics in the annual OU Homecoming parade.

Others do other jobs, like get in a cherry picker— the metal basket at the end of a boom crane — to be lifted above the crowds.

Vice President of Student Affairs Clark Stroud, sporting a cheery crimson-striped bow tie, did just that on Saturday. Stroud has been the homecoming parade emcee for 15 or 16 years.

“I love it,” he said. “It’s my favorite thing that I get to do every year.”

Stroud said he used to emcee from street level, but he couldn’t see the bands and floats as they came his way. Now, he has a great view, perched high above the parade.

His lofty perch doesn’t make him nervous, he said. He’s having too much fun.

“I choose the music and everything,” he said.

The 2013 Grand Marshall, meteorologist Gary England, was also excited. He and his wife rode in a 1957 Chevrolet convertible. Friday, he was honored in a ring ceremony. It was a big weekend, even for a seasoned television pro like England.

“Yesterday was one of the best days of my life,” England said of the ring ceremony.

Boyd Street was lined with spectators, many of them families.

Marcy and Daniel Schuermann had brought their daughters Amelia and Norah to see the homecoming parade. It was Norah’s first parade ever. Donning pink sunglasses and outfitted in OU fan apparel, she sat quietly in her stroller, watching and waiting.

Sisters Emily and Stephanie Amorim of Oklahoma City came to the parade together for the first time. Stephanie is an OU student who loves the parade and wanted to share the experience with her little sister.

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