Main Street was awash in all manner of apricot-shaded fashion during the Sea of Orange Parade.

All along the parade route, people stood and were seated – in spots six deep – to witness one of the oldest Homecoming traditions at Oklahoma State University. Smiles and cheers were in abundance as onlookers supported marchers. In addition to Grand Marshals Garth Brooks, Barry Sanders and Robin Ventura, other crowd favorites included the bands, horses and parade floats.

Floats represented and transported all aspects of the community and included politicians, local businesses and a synchronized lawnmower brigade.

Friends and fellow alums Phyllis Sterns and Anita Stair had multiple reasons to cheer. Stern’s daughter plays saxophone in the band. She said her favorite activity is the half-time show.

Stair has two children who will attend the university from where she and her husband graduated.

A family affair triggered by conviction, Stair said, “I live 9 miles west of Norman. I chose to come to OSU.”

Alum pride of the university was evident among many in the crowd.

Alum Chere Gafney said, “I have been enjoying the school and its new construction. I like seeing our old campus thrive, expand and go into the future.”

Phyllis Brown said she thought the city and university worked well together to create a fun spectacle. “I’ve been here all my life. I just love homecoming,” she said.

Alum Dorothy Evans said she loves the parade, crowds and anticipation of everything.

Seated side by side in the shade, her husband and OSU aerospace alum Hugh Evans said, “Each year, I ask myself if it’s going to be my last.” A Stillwater resident, he said he enjoys watching the game on TV. “I suspect OSU will win,” he said.

Perhaps the enthusiasm was best encapsulated by Brian Urbach who said, “We like our team and school spirit. I love OSU. Go Pokes!”

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