The Daily Gamecock

Outback Bowl festivities continue with parade, pep rally

High school bands, Sir Big Spur featured in New Year's Eve events

{module Outback Bowl Parade and Pep Rally}

TAMPA, Fla.—Gamecock and Wolverine fans kicked off their New Year’s Eve festivities Monday evening with the Outback Bowl parade and pep rally in Ybor City, Tampa’s Latin district.

A procession of high school marching bands prepped the crowd, with Wisconsin’s Onalaska High School drawing huge cheers and many spur fingers during its rendition of “Sweet Caroline.”

The Carolina marching band capped off the hour-long parade, led by Sir Big Spur with USC President Harris Pastides and First Lady Patricia Moore-Pastides.

A pep rally featuring both schools’ bands and cheerleaders followed the parade. Cocky and Mic Man Chase Mizzell joined the Michigan and Carolina cheerleaders on a stage to rile the crowd and lead cheers while the bands played.

Vicki Cline of Myrtle Beach had been enjoying the bowl week festivities since Friday after driving down with her husband and bulldog. Sporting a feathered, Mardi Gras-style hat, Cline sounded her signature Gamecock crow and praised the friendliness of the Tampa locals.

She, like the thousands of other Gamecock fans who had made treks of upwards of eight hours, said she was most excited for a Gamecock win in Tuesday’s game.

“The Gamecocks are going to win by three touchdowns tomorrow, and then we got a great year ahead of us next year.  So we got a lot to look forward to,” Cline said.  “I’m just so proud of (the team)…It’s a great, great, fun time for everybody.”