Rain or shine, Houstonians flock downtown to experience the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo (HLSR) Parade. Highlights always include music, marching bands, multi-colored floats and multitudes of Cougars.
This year’s event – 10 a.m., March 1 – will be no different as members of the University of Houston community will be part of the popular procession. In fact, UH is kicking off the parade with the Spirit of Houston Marching Band, Cougar Dolls and UH Cheerleaders. Led by director David Bertman and interim director of athletic bands Marc Martin, the band will perform the “UH Fight Song,” “Deep in the Heart of Texas” and “The Horse.”
The Spirit of Houston Marching Band includes 375 student members (both music and non-music majors). It is a mainstay at the HLSR Parade, as well as other local events. Its halftime performances at UH football games are legendary. Starting this fall, it will have a new home at the new Houston Football Stadium. It also has participated in historic sporting events including the “Battle of the Sexes” tennis match at the Astrodome and a halftime performance alongside Janet Jackson at Super Bowl XXXVIII.
Later in the procession, UH President Renu Khator and members of the Cougar community will cruise through downtown on the University’s official float. It won’t be hard to miss with its familiar interlocking “UH” logo, replica of a giant Cougar scaling a rock and two red Cougar boots leading the way.
“We always say if it’s important to Houston, it’s important to the University of Houston. And the annual Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is a great example. That’s why we are delighted to participate in the parade,” she said. “The UH Float is a visible display of our appreciation of the rodeo and the significant role it plays in our community year after year.”
Joining Khator will be Cedric Bandoh, president of UH’s Student Government Association; 2014 Homecoming King Michael Szymanski; 2014 Homecoming Queen Channler Hill; UH Alumni Association Board Chair Starlet Argella; UH Associate Vice President of Alumni Relations Mike Pede; and UH Cullen College of Engineering Associate Dean of Graduate Programs and Computing Facilities Suresh Khator.
Other members of the UH System family will show their school pride on a float containing several rodeo scholars. These include Yuselmy Cardenas, a UH-Clear Lake education student, and UH student Edward Carrizales-Saucedo, who is studying management information systems and accounting. Each year hundreds of students across the UH System (UH, UH-Clear Lake, UH-Downtown and UH-Victoria) benefit from HLSR Scholarships.
President Khator and other members of the University community also will participate in the annual UH Night at the Rodeo on March 19. She and a delegation of UH representatives will participate in the Grand Entry of that evening’s rodeo events.
Visit the HLSR website for more details on this year’s parade and other HLSR events.