People weaved through the crowd laughing and chanting as the police closed off the street to cars. The K-S-U chant rose from the crowd as Wildcat football fans crowded Beale street well before the parade started on Friday.
The sea of purple battled the sea of red shouting school spirit chants fighting for the honor of being loudest fans. Pig calls squealed to a halt as fans belted out K-S-U-Wildcats chant.
Friends and families searched for one another throughout the crowd finding the best spots to watch the parade.
John Stevens, ’99 Arkansas alum, said his favorite part of the parade was seeing all his friends and family on Beale street.
“My favorite part is bringing my family, the little guy I got on my shoulders and I got a several others spread out around here, and lots of friends,” Stevens said.
Both teams’s fans laughed and celebrated as they waited for the parade entertainers to be announced and pass by.
DJs and announcers pumped up the crowd announcing the bands and parade entries passing by. Performers ranged from clowns, to dance troupes, cars, winners of national beauty, Autozone trucks, the teams, K-State Marching Band, the Arkansas Marching Band and high school marching bands from all over the country.
The crowd was showered with candy, beads and other treats and souvenirs as performers paraded by. But according to several fans, the most anticipated entries were the university bands and the cheerleaders and color guard.
Several Arkansas fans said they were waiting for the Razorback band to close out the parade.
“I am absolutely looking forward to the Razorback band,” Stevens said.
K-State’s band was in huge demand, according to Eric Brunkow, ’11 K-State alum.
“My favorite part was to see the K-State Band and Willie come by, represent K-State,” Brunkow said.
Brunkow’s friend, Kyle Johnson, ’08 K-State alum, said they arrived about an hour before the parade to find a great spot for him and his friends to watch.
“We’ve waited for about an hour,” Johnson said. “We met up with some of our friends and walked up here. We got the perfect spot, the DJ behind us is fun.”
The parade concluded with a pep rally in Handy Park. Both team head coaches, bands, and other spirit teams talked, performed, and energized the crowd for the big game.