Illustration by Genevieve Humphreys
This year, Trinity will be officially involved in Fiesta as part of both the Texas Cavaliers River Parade and the Battle of Flowers Parade.
Both events will take place in Downtown San Antonio and will be televised to members of the San Antonio community.
The Texas Cavaliers River Parade will take place on April 22, and the theme of this year’s parade is “It’s Showtime in San Antonio.”
“Our float is assigned a theme and the theme for Trinity’s float is Top Gun, like the movie,” said Joy McGaugh, associate director of Alumni Relations. “It will be super fun. We have a couple of staffers and students who will be riding the float along with the Trinity jazz band. We’ve asked them to learn music from the soundtrack.”
The Office of Strategic Communications and Marketing has also found a way to tie in Trinity’s 150th anniversary to the float for the river parade.
“Our tagline is that Trinity has the ‘need to exceed.’ Top Gun is the ‘need for speed,’ so we’re tying it into being a top-ranked university and tying that into the theme of Top Gun,” McGaugh said.
McGaugh explained how they plan to keep to the theme.
“We are borrowing some costumes from the Theatre Department. They did a play set during the Gulf War, so they have some military style costumes that we’re going to use. LeeRoy will have a giant maroon bomber jacket and some big oversized aviator glasses. We’re very excited about it.” McGaugh said.
In conjunction with the river parade, Trinity will also be hosting a party for alumni in The Grotto at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center.
“It’s a $50 ticket, and it includes food, an open bar and the experience and the fun and transportation and a Fiesta medal,” McGaugh said. “We have enough room to accommodate 176 seated tickets, and we have 24 standing-room-only tickets, and those are only available to graduates of the last decade. It’s $25 and includes everything except the physical seat to sit down. We have cocktail tables and all kinds of things, so you still have a place to put your food and all of that. It’s a great way to get our younger alumni involved in that event, too.”
The Trinity University Alumni Association pays $1,500 for Trinity’s float entry fee in the river parade. Tickets sold to alumni help cover some of the cost of the party, the rest of which is also paid for by the Alumni Association.
Trinity will also have a float in the Battle of Flowers Parade, which will take place on April 26. The float for this parade costs $6,000 and is paid for by the Office of Alumni Relations.
“The parade theme is ‘For the Love of Texas,’ and the title of Trinity’s banner and balloon is ‘Celebrating 150 Years with Trinity University,’ ” said Elizabeth Ford, alumni volunteer coordinator for the Office of Alumni Relations. “Trinity has been participating in this parade for many, many years. The balloon has always been mainly carried by our alumni, and we have 36 confirmed alumni. In the past, we’ve also included staff and students, but unfortunately, students have class that day and so it’s a missed opportunity for them to share in the excitement of Fiesta.”
Trinity’s float in the Battle of Flowers Parade will also have an emphasis on the 150th anniversary.
“We’ll have a special banner that has a rendition of all four campuses that we’ve journeyed through,” Ford said. “We will also highlight the 150th with the balloon itself. I’ve been talking with the parade organizers on either having banners coming from the balloon and/or music with our entry, and then one of the parade organizers suggested that we have a medal actually on the balloon that shows our 150th logo. The day parade will be televised, so there’s a lot of excitement around that.”
Melissa Harken, class of 1993, has been one of the alumni volunteers involved in the Battle of Flowers Parade for over 10 years. As an alumna, Harken attended Fiesta and noticed Trinity’s presence in the parade.
“Some friends and I went to the Battle of Flowers Parade one year and we were watching it, and I was like, ‘Wow, Trinity actually has people in it, that sounds like fun,’ ” Harken said. “So we looked into that, and Elizabeth [Ford] had a call for volunteers, so ever since then just the same group of friends have been doing it every year.”
Harken explained that there are several reasons she enjoys participating in the parade with Trinity.
“It’s a good way to have Trinity’s presence in the city, and people are cheering and giving high-fives,” Harken said. “It’s just a fun, festive way to be involved in the parade and the city. When I go to Battle of Flowers, I’d much rather see the parade from in it than along it. You get to see everything and the different floats. It’s a great way to stay connected with your friends and just see a wide variety of alumni.”
Alumni interested in attending this year’s river parade party can find out more information on Trinity’s website.