STILLWATER — A steady rain and frigid weather wasn't enough to stop thousands of people from traveling to Stillwater this weekend for what's commonly referred to as America's greatest homecoming tradition.
Despite below-freezing temperatures, Oklahoma State University alumnus Tracy Ferguson packed up her family and drove to Main Street at 8 a.m. Saturday to watch the annual Sea of Orange Parade.
Smothered in hand warmers, ski pants and blankets, they pushed their discomfort to the back of their minds and enjoyed the hour-and-a-half event.
“It's just a great time to spend with our family,” Ferguson said. “It's a family tradition.”
More than 120 entries were featured in the homecoming parade. Most — but not all — were connected to the university.
For Ferguson, the best groups to watch were from outside of Stillwater.
“We come every year to see the little bands from little schools, little towns in Oklahoma,” she said. “We come here every year to see that. It gives them an opportunity to come and play, and we think that's awesome.”
Other favorites include the Pistol Pete Alumni float, filled with former students dressed up as OSU's mascot, and the Kappa Sigma Lawn Mower Drill Team, complete with synchronized lawn mower choreography.
But the parade wasn't the only event to draw massive crowds over the weekend.
Students from the Greek community waited nervously during the hours leading to Friday's Walkaround — a festival showcasing house decorations designed by paired fraternities and sororities. Rain continued throughout the morning and afternoon, showing no sign of giving way before the event began at 5:30 p.m.
But they caught a break, and instead of rain, they only had to deal with the cold.
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At a glance
House decoration winners
• First: Phi Gamma Delta/Kappa Delta
• Second: Alpha Gamma Rho/Zeta Tau Alpha
• Third: Sigma Nu/Gamma Phi Beta
• Fourth: Kappa Sigma/Alpha Chi Omega
• Fifth: Phi Delta Theta/Kappa Alpha Theta