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Stillwater's main street flooded with Sea of Orange parade

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Sea of Orange Parade

OSU cheerleaders hold up the go pokes sign while walking in the parade.

It was a chilly Saturday morning in Stillwater, but that didn’t keep bundled up OSU fans from crowding Main Street.

Oklahoma State students and alumni, residents of Stillwater and OSU fans from all over came together for the Sea of Orange Homecoming Parade.

OSU alumni Scott Pappas said each year, a sense of tradition, legacy and community encompasses Stillwater’s Main Street.

“It’s a continuation of a tradition,” Pappas said. “It’s a great school… This is such a celebration; nobody else in the nation has this.”

Students like biochemistry junior Olivia Davis have the honor of becoming part of the legacy. The parade is a celebration of just that.

“It’s a time for students to think about what legacy they want to leave,” Davis said. “It’s about making an impact where you’re at…leaving something better than you found it by being there.”

Alumni like Bob and Cindy Impson, who once carried this legacy, said they want their children and grandchildren to have the same honor.

“We come to homecoming because of our grandkids,” Bob, an alumnus of 1978, said. “We want them to be here and see this so hopefully they’ll keep coming.”

“I love seeing their (her grandchildren) faces as the floats go by,” Cindy, who graduated in 1981, said.

The Sea of Orange Homecoming parade is about much more than the university. Stillwater residents share why homecoming is so important for them.

“It may not mean the same for us as it does for alumni,” Matt Brosi, an associate professor at OSU, said. “Since the incident, it’s taken on a whole new meaning.”

The heartbreaking event of the 2015 Sea of Orange parade remains one of Stillwater’s most devastating tragedies. The victims are held closely in the hearts of their loved ones and in the hearts of the Stillwater community.

“This is such a close-knit community that, even if you’re not an OSU alumni, this is just what we do,” Carrie Brosi said.

“It’s a sense of community. You don’t get this stuff anywhere else,” Matt said.

news.ed@ocolly.com