CLEMSON — The Clemson community will come together to celebrate the beginning of the school year and kick off the football season at the annual First Friday Parade at 6 p.m. Aug. 31. The event, which features community groups, university departments, Panhellenic and service sororities, and other student organizations, precedes Clemson’s first home football game, set for 12:20 p.m. Sept. 1 against Furman.

Map of the 2018 First Friday Parade route

The First Friday Parade will feature a new route in 2018, beginning at Centennial Boulevard adjacent to Littlejohn Coliseum and ending at the intersection of Williamson Road and Palmetto Boulevard past Memorial Stadium. Click to enlarge the image.

Image Credit: Student Affairs Publications

The parade will follow an alternate route this year following recent construction to Highway 93. The parade route begins at Centennial Boulevard adjacent to the northeast corner of Littlejohn Coliseum. The route turns left onto the Avenue of Champions then right onto Williamson Road and runs alongside the east side of Memorial Stadium before finishing on Williamson Road where it meets Palmetto Boulevard.

Access to those roads will be limited to participants and spectators beginning at 5 p.m. for parade preparations. Cars parked on South Palmetto Boulevard, Williamson Road, Ravenel Road, Centennial Boulevard and lots C-9, C-7, and E-4 should be moved prior to 5 p.m. Click here for more information about Clemson Area Transit (CAT) route deviations.

The theme for the parade this year is “The Stripes That Make a Tiger.” Just as a tiger is not complete without its stripes, the Clemson family is not complete without the diverse experiences and contributions of students and alumni.

Head shot of Clemson University graduate Jim Bostic

Jim Bostic will serve as this year’s First Friday Parade grand marshal.
Image Credit: Clemson University Relations

James E. Bostic Jr. will be the grand marshal for the 2018 First Friday Parade. In 1972,  Bostic became the first African-American to earn a doctorate from Clemson University. He has served as a director of the Clemson University Foundation, president of IPTAY and as a member of the Clemson University board of trustees. In 1990, he was presented with the Distinguished Service Award from the Clemson Alumni Association and in 2016 he was awarded the university’s highest public honor, the Clemson Medallion.

Immediately following the parade, the women’s soccer team will host Villanova at Historic Riggs Field. A pep rally will be held at halftime and the winners of the banner competition and Miss First Friday 2018 will be announced.

The Miss First Friday contest is a competition among student organizations to see which can raise the most money for its philanthropic cause. New this year, the Miss First Friday competition will be conducted through CU Marketplace. The contestant who raises the most money from donations on behalf of her organization’s philanthropic cause will be named Miss First Friday 2018.