More than 100 floats, antique cars, marching bands, precision equestrian units, and Elvis Presley look-alikes on mini motorcycles participated in the XTO Energy Parade of Lights in downtown Fort Worth, on Friday.
Floats from all parts of the city were represented and Santa and Mrs. Claus made an appearance on the grand finale float.
Texas Wesleyan University alumni and students represented the university on a self-built float named “The Pride of Wesleyan.” The float consisted of a small trailer featuring a Texas Wesleyan flag surrounded by dozens of multicolored lights wrapped around pillars.
David D. Martin, former president of the Texas Wesleyan University Alumni Association, said the organization started building and riding on a float in the parade six years ago.
“Some friends and I had recently graduated from Wesleyan and were attending the parade and kept waiting for Wesleyans float to come by and when it didn’t I immediately said I have to find out why,” said Martin.
Wesleyan alumnus, Spencer Baker led a crew of volunteers that built this year’s float.
“I always thought that this was a good idea and the best way to get the Wesleyan message across to the city of Fort Worth,” Baker said. “It is a really cool thing be apart of.”
Senior business major Bianca Upstrong was one of the riders on the float.
“My cousin Trista, who is also a Wesleyan alum, told me about the parade yesterday at Thanksgiving,” said Upstrong.
Alumni board member Trista Allen also rode on the float..
“This is my first year to ever do it,” said Allen. “I knew that we have done this for years, but I have never been able to participate, so this year I just did it.”
Participating in the Parade of Lights is a wonderful tradition that helps get out the word about the greatness of Wesleyan, said Martin.