Thousands of the Jayhawk faithful turned out in near-perfect, 80-degree weather for the Kansas University Homecoming Parade on Friday afternoon.
"I don't know about you guys, but I would sooner be a Jayhawk," said Dennis Dailey, professor of social welfare and master of ceremonies for this year's parade, held along Jayhawk Boulevard on campus.
KU police estimated that between 12,000 and 13,000 students, alumni and others turned out for the parade, which had the theme, "I'd Sooner Be a Jayhawk."
KU plays the Oklahoma Sooners in football here today. Kickoff is 1 p.m.
KU football coach Glen Mason fired up the cheering crowd of about 6,000 during a rally held at the beginning of the parade at Wescoe Beach.
"Tomorrow is a very big game for all of us," he said. "This is more than just a game for us this may be the opportunity to go to a bowl game when it's all said and done."
Mason also said the KU football program, with a 5-1 record, was out to get respect from the often-dominant Sooners, who have not lost to KU since 1984.
"This game is about respect," he said. "Tomorrow we got an opportunity to get that respect not only statewide, but on a national level.
"After we beat Oklahoma you can tear down the goal posts and we can have a party in this town that will never be forgotten."
Following Mason's remarks, the KU cheerleaders led the crowd in the "Rock Chalk, Jayhawk" cheer, and the KU band played a few songs.
"If that doesn't get your blood stirring, nothing will," Dailey said.
The parade, which lasted about 45 minutes, featured about 32 entries, including student organizations, two high school marching bands and 14 floats.
Police Lt. John Mullens said there were no major problems during the parade.
"It went real, real well," he said.
Other events being held today in conjunction with homecoming include:
An information table for alumni beginning at 9 a.m. in the Kansas Union lobby.
The Student Alumni Assn. will sponsor walking tours of campus at 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. from Adams Alumni Center.
An annual KU Alumni Association picnic will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in a tent just southeast of Memorial Stadium.